Brett Veach worked in rebuilding the offensive line this offseason.
Thursday, we learned that one of the pieces Veach added will miss a significant amount of time. So the depth Veach built on the line will be tested right away.
Kansas City Royals 6, Oakland Athletics 1 (Game Review)
8:40pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics (BSKC)
INJURIES START ON THE CHIEFS’ OFFENSIVE LINE
OL Kyle Long suffered a leg injury that could keep him out of training camp. It has been reported that the injury is a fractured kneecap. As a result, long will likely miss most, if not all, of training camp and could miss the first few weeks of the season. Long has had numerous injuries throughout his career. That’s why he retired before last season.
So what does that do to the depth of the offensive line? Long was thought to be in a battle for the starting job at right guard with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. However, Andy Reid said the club is ok at the position after the injury. Rookie Trey Smith, Andrew Wylie, and Nick Allegretti could all enter the battle.
It appears that three positions along the line are pretty well set. Orlando Brown Jr. will be the left tackle. Joe Thuney will be the left guard. Creed Humphrey appears to be in the lead at center.
It’s the right side of the line that has questions right now. Long wasn’t a lock to start, but his injury certainly weakens the depth and the competition.
Also… CB Charvarius Ward signed his second-round tender Wednesday. That will pay him $3.384 million in 2021.
IS SALVY STILL ELITE DEFENSIVELY?
Salvador Perez has been an elite catcher since he made his major league debut. He threw out multiple base runners in his first major league game in Tampa Bay. Earlier this season, we saw him end a game by throwing out a runner at third base when the ball got away from him, and the runner went a little too far down the line towards home.
Salvy’s weakness is blocking balls in the dirt. It’s not that he’s awful. He just doesn’t focus on getting in front of the ball. Sometimes reaching with his glove, he gets fortunate, and the ball finds his mitt allowing him to make a terrific play. But, unfortunately, more often, he misses the ball, and runners advance.
You could argue that reaching instead of blocking is his only chance to make those plays, and the Royals are no worse off. Sometimes that’s true when the runners are on the run, but he also allows them to run when he reaches unnecessarily and misses the ball.
Cam Gallagher is a much better defensive catcher at blocking balls in the dirt right now. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t have the all-around skills of Salvy, and he has to do all of the fundamentals well to be an asset. Cam isn’t going to throw out runners on the bases like Salvy will, but he will allow fewer cheap bases.
Salvy is still an elite defensive catcher. Cam Gallagher is playing so much this year, and it shows us one of Salvy’s weaknesses. Whether it’s by choice or not, Salvy’s blocking of balls in the dirt isn’t likely going to change at this point in his career.
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