Kansas City Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is not necessarily known for his speed, but on Thursday night he provided us with quite the rarity — a catcher stolen base.
One pitch after Eric Hosmer homered to widen the Royals lead to 5-0 in the third inning, Detroit Tigers starter Michael Fulmer hit Perez with a pitch. Two pitches later, Perez took off and stole second base.
It was Perez’s first steal since 2015.
This isn’t to make fun of Perez for being slow. All catchers are relatively slow, and they take a beating behind the plate. Catchers accounted for just 2.75 percent of all major league steals entering play Thursday.
Perez has been an iron man of sorts, regularly atop the league leaders in defensive innings behind the plate, so his body takes more of a beating than most. In 2014-15, he set a major league record for most innings caught in a two-year span.
Maybe Perez, who made his fifth consecutive All-Star team this year, is just selective about when he chooses to unleash his speed. He is 3-for-3 in his career in stolen base attempts, so he’s doing something right.
But Thursday’s swipe of second base was even more rare, given that Fulmer has only allowed six stolen bases in 45 career starts. So we had an iron man catcher on base after getting plunked, with a pitcher on the mound who’s hard to steal against. Of course Perez was going to steal second base.
He enjoyed the moment as well. Look at that smile!
Baseball can be perfect sometimes.