Perez keeps runners at bay on basepaths

Perez keeps runners at bay on basepaths

Perez keeps runners at bay on basepaths
KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Salvador Perez is catching a lot of runners trying to steal.

Through Sunday, he'd nailed seven of the last 13 would-be thieves, which made him 8-for-20 or 40 percent, an excellent showing.

"Salvador is only going to throw out runners if the pitchers give him a chance," manager Ned Yost said. "And they've been doing a pretty good job of giving him a chance."

Pitchers help not only with good pickoff capabilities, but with quick deliveries to home plate.

"I always tell the pitcher to be careful with a guy at first base -- try to make it hard for the guy to steal, to give me a chance," Perez and.

Apparently they're listening. It helps, of course, that Perez has a very strong arm and is able to get off throws quickly, sometimes as fast as 1.8 seconds compared to the 2.0 seconds that Yost says is average.

"Salvy's an above-average thrower and, if we give him the opportunity, he's going to have above-average numbers in throwing runners out," Yost said. "Very seldom do they ever steal on a catcher."

Although Perez is tall for a catcher at 6-3, he's well-coordinated mechanically.

"He's very athletic for a big guy. His bottom half works tremendously with his upper half, his feet are very short and quick and in balance. His release is very short and quick and he's very accurate," Yost said.