Last night, Salvador Perez smacked a first-inning home run, his 48th of the year, tying Jorge Soler for the single-season club record.
RECORD MATCHED! Salvy slugs his 48th home run of the season, which ties Jorge Soler's club record from 2019. A three-run blast FOR THE LEAD!— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) September 30, 2021
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Stream: Bally Sports app#Royals pic.twitter.com/gpyAegRvx9
No offense to Jorge Soler, who had a sensational 2019 season, but it seems fitting the record should at least be part-owned by a franchise player like Salvador Perez. It was the 200th career home run of Salvy’s career, and he is second in Royals history behind only George Brett in that category.
Royals stat expert extraordinaire Dave Holtzman produced an entire list of cool ways to look at all of Salvy’s home runs.
The only question is - will Salvy get a chance to break the record? He exited last night’s game in the second inning after it appeared he stumbled down the dugout stairs. He still hit that inning - striking out a bit awkwardly before limping off the field and getting pulled on defense.
"Put some tape, take some pills, see what happens." -- Salvador Perez, on whether he'll play tomorrow.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) September 30, 2021
If he’s able to play, it might make sense to stick him at DH to save his legs a bit. He has also hit much better when not squatting behind the plate - 15 of his home runs have come in his 36 games at DH. It would cost him a shot at setting the American League record for most home runs hit as a catcher, a mark he trails Ivan Rodriguez by two home runs.
The Royals may also want to consider hitting him leadoff to get him more plate appearances, maximizing his chances at the record. On the other hand, that could jeopardize his chances of winning the RBI title. Salvy has 121 RBI, eight more than White Sox slugger Jose Abreu’s 113 RBI. Much of those runs have been courtesy of having Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez hitting in front of him. If Salvy hits leadoff, he won’t have as many run-producing opportunities.
In any case, it has already been a remarkable season for Salvador Perez. Hopefully he is healthy enough over the last few games to put Royals fans on the edge of their seats as they look for him to set records.
What should the Royals do with Salvy in the remaining games?
This poll is closed
Play him at catcher, hit him third
Play him at catcher, have him lead off
Play him at DH, hit him third
Play him at DH, have him lead off