Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Wed, 3/13
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 15 2012 9:25AM
The news today that Salvador Perez is going to miss at least three to four weeks because of surgery on his left knee is a significant blow to the Royals. While the Royals have done a great job of developing quality players at a variety of positions over the last few years, Perez is a rare breed; he’s an above-average defensive catcher who knows how to handle a pitching staff and has the potential to be an above-average hitter. Not to mention, Perez isn’t even 22 years old yet. Plus, the Royals are already without catcher Manuel Piña, who suffered a similar meniscus tear in his right knee, leaving the defensively challenged Brayan Peña as the only catcher on the 40-man roster. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said the Royals were in the market for more catching after Piña went down and that search intensifies with Perez’s injury. Max Ramirez and Cody Clark are the leading in-house candidates to back up Peña to start the season. Ramirez is the better offensive player of the two (although manager Ned Yost has said Ramirez is better than he thought he’d be defensively) and he has Major League experience. Clark has never played in the Majors, but is the better defender of the pair. I think that, once Perez has the surgery – probably in the next few days – and the Royals have a better idea of how much time he’ll miss, will help determine what catcher, or catchers, they look to acquire.
The Royals announced their first cuts of spring training before tonight’s game with the Mariners in Peoria. With minor league camp starting tomorrow and pitchers getting stretched out – making it harder for everyone to get innings – now was the time to pare down the roster. To me, the most interesting of the cuts was lefty Mike Montgomery, who lasted longer in last year’s camp. Entering spring training, the Royals made clear they wanted to give Montgomery every chance to win a spot in the rotation, but he only threw 2 2/3 innings over his two spring appearances. While less than three innings isn’t a whole lot of time to prove oneself, I don’t think Montgomery helped his case by struggling with his command, a big issue for him during his lackluster 2011 at Omaha. Not to mention, the other Royals starting pitching candidates have performed very well – in some cases, better than expected – which also made Montgomery expendable. I still think Montgomery will make it up to Kansas City before 2012 draws to a close.