When the Royals open the World Series against the New York Mets on Tuesday night, Perez will crouch behind the plate for the 312th time over the past two years. That will match the big league regular and postseason record for a two-year span set by Randy Hundley of the Chicago Cubs from 1967-68.
''He's a bulldog out there,'' Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said. ''There's really no ball that could hurt him. Bumps and bruises all over him, and he keeps going out there.''
Last year epitomized Indestructible Sal.
Start with the 22 Amari Cooper Elite Jerseyspring training he played behind the plate. Then the 150 he played in the regular season and 15 more in the postseason - of those, Perez started 158 at catcher, a big league record. Then, about a week after Perez made the final out in Game 7 of the World Series, he joined a contingent of All-Stars that played an exhibition series in Japan.
No wonder he skipped winter ball in his native Venezuela for the first time in years.
Royals manager Ned Yost, himself a former catcher, said in spring training he was going http://www.raidersnflprostore.com/Authentic-Amari-Cooper-Jerseyto give Perez more time off this year. Yost noticed the pounding the three-time All-Star had taken in 2014, and thought his postseason struggles at the plate were a reflection of it.
Apparently, more time off meant Perez only played 142 games this season after 16 in spring training.
''You've got to just kind of know it's part of the position,'' Yost said, ''but Sal is suited perfectly for it. He's a big guy, extremely tough and he can take a beating.''
In fact, he seems to embrace the beating. That's why one of trainer Nick Kenney's toughest tasks is trying to convince Perez to leave a game after a particularly bad blow.
''In the playoffs, the emotion, you have to have something broken to get me out of the game,'' Perez said. ''We know the position. We know we're going to get hit. If you wait a second, the pain is going to be gone. I don't like to come out. It has to be really, really bad.''
Royals assistant coach Pedro Grifol said the beating Perez takes is the result of a ''perfect storm'' of factors. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Perez is exceptionally large for a catcher, which means more surface area to absorb those foul tips and pitches in the dirt. Then there's the fact that Kansas City has an abundance of power arms, so opposing hitters rarely make solid contact.