by John Viril—
It was inevitable, I suppose. Catcher Salvador Perez was not going to waltz into MLB, hit .320, slug .500, play stellar defense, and light up the clubhouse with a vibrant personality without a few bumps during his development.
Perez, who seemed like an almost too-good-to-be-true story, has finally hit a down patch in his assault on MLB. On Sept. 12, Salvy was hitting .319/.343/.515. In the two weeks since, he’s scuffled along with a .153 BA with only 1 BB, 1 2B and 1 HR in 39 ABs. His OBP percentage has fallen to .319, his slugging percentage has dipped below .500 to .478 and his OPS is now below .800 for the first time this season (.797).
After perusing his fangraphs pitchf/x data, the most striking difference I noticed was that pitchers have substantially increased the amount of hard breaking stuff they throw to Perez. The number of sliders and cutters Perez has seen has jumped the last two weeks. So have his strikeouts. Perez has 7 strikeouts in his last 7 games in...