Kansas City Royals: Catcher position in trouble as Salvador Perez recovers

Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The three catchers on the Kansas City Royals’ active roster are currently out of action. Two have tested positive for COVID-19 and the other is on the injured list.

This obviously poses a problem for the Kansas City Royals, but fortunately we’re only in the first week of camp and there’s time for both Salvador Perez and Cam Gallagher to return. They’ll both have to test negative twice before they’re able to return and play with the team again. Meibrys Viloria is on the injured list already (non-COVID related).

The Royals do have other options at catcher, but they’re not the most attractive options. They signed Oscar Hernandez, formerly of the Diamondbacks, earlier this week and also have some younger prospects who could fill in at the position if worse came to worse.

The other three catchers who were included in the 60-player club pool for Summer Camp are Nick Dini, MJ Melendez, and Sebastian Rivero. I mentioned in a recent post how Melendez and Rivero didn’t have a great chance to make their debuts this year due to how catcher isn’t a position that needs more than three players up at a time.

Well – They might get their chance sooner than we all anticipated!

Dini appeared in 20 games for the Royals last year, batting .196  and belting two home runs in 56 at bats. He’s 26 (almost 27) and is likely going to be the starter if Perez and Gallagher are unable to return before the season is set to begin.

Melendez is a highly touted prospect, sitting as the 13th best prospect in the Royals’ farm system. He’s 21 years old and batted just .163 for Wilmington last season in 363 at bats. Throwing Melendez out there too soon isn’t a great idea, but it might have to happen if the team continues to be hit hard at the position.

Rivero is another young prospect, but not as flashy of one as Melendez. He spent time in Omaha last season and batted .375 in just eight at bats, but had struggled in Wilmington with just a .212 batting average in 288 at bats.

Dini is the clear choice out of these three, but the hope is that Perez and Gallagher bounce back quickly and can rejoin the team before the season starts. Otherwise, Dini will be the main catcher with Melendez and Rivero getting a chance to catch in the big leagues sooner than we all expected.

We’re only a week into Summer Camp and four members of the Kansas City Royals have tested positive for COVID-19.