CINCINNATI, Ohio — Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is just 25 years old, but the Venezuela native has already reached the All-Star game three times in his young career. He’s a stone wall behind home plate, having won two Gold Gloves for his dirty work. He’s also throwing out 35 percent of runners who try to steal on him, good for ninth in the major leagues.
But spending nine innings in a crouched position for 162 games a year can take a toll on a player’s knees. That’s why the healing powers of the hot and cold tub have been a key to keeping Perez healthy. After tearing the miniscus in his left knee in 2012, Perez has been free of injuries; and last season, he started more games (143) at catcher than anyone else in the league.
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STACK caught up with Perez ahead of the All-Star festivities in Cincinnati to talk about hot and cold tubs, how he works out, and his on-field style.
STACK: Congratulations on your third consecutive All-Star appearance. What’s your favorite part of all this?
Salvador Perez: It’s exciting. And even more with my whole family here. Enjoy the moment. That’s what I like about the All-Star game; you have family time, all the players are here. It’s awesome.
You’re one of the best defensive catchers in the game. How did you get to that point?
Nobody knows this, but every day I come in at 1 o’ clock to the ballpark. I do a lot of stuff. I do the hot water and cold water tub. I do exercises for my knee like Squats. That’s what my trainer wants me to do.
You can handle the cold tub alright?
For two minutes I can do it [laughing].
What else are you doing to keep your knees healthy?
We do Squats with not too much weight. We do Lunges. Sometimes the upper body a little bit. The most important thing for me is the hot and cold tubs.
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I see you’re wearing Gucci loafers and a big old watch. Are you a flashy guy on the field at all?
Behind home plate? No, there’s nothing to really show. I just want to win the games, that’s it.