Salvador Perez had a successful first game of his rehab stint, getting three hits with Triple-A Omaha as he works back into form from a thumb injury that's cost him much of the season. The team hasn't been clear about how long Perez will be in the minors, but on Wednesday afternoon, manager Mike Matheny joined 610's Fescoe In The Morning to explain where things stand with their star catcher right now.
"We love this about him, and I know the fans do too: this guy just loves to play the game maybe as much as any player I've ever been around," Matheny said. "This guy just is just motivated to play the game of baseball, and that's one of the reasons why I know he's so loved in the game, and you can see it. But he sometimes also just gets out of whack a little bit. We have a hand surgeon who knows exactly what we should be doing, and there's a protocol in place that we need to follow. But Salvy loves pushing the limits on that, so we've kind of gone past what he thinks, or I think, or even what our medical teams thinks. This is all been in the hands of this specialist. He is dictating how much, how often, and when he can return. When that guy gives us the green light, then I will be the happiest person around to see [Perez] in the lineup.
"Kind of think of it like Tommy John surgery – when they first got it going, it was such a radical change. It had never been done before. So they had feedback from the cases that had been done, and they knew that, OK, if we do this, this timeline looks right. Even though it feels good, we don't know if we push it any earlier than the. The way the doctor termed it was this: if we do anything on the sooner side of this, it's an experiment. So then we have to look at ourselves and Salvy and say do we really want to experiment with Salvador Perez right now, when we know that if we just follow this program, there's a high percentage and likelihood that this goes well."
You can listen to the entire interview in the player below: