Pirates Catcher Carried Off Field With Injury; 2nd Baseman Dons Catching Gear

 The Pittsburgh Pirates may have lost the services of their starting catcher for a while. It took two teammates to carry Roberto Perez off the field Saturday afternoon after having a hamstring issue. The Pirates are calling it "discomfort", but it looked a lot more than uncomfortable. 

Perez was seen using a crutch after the game, unable to put any weight on the leg. He's been placed on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain. 

After backup catcher Andrew Knapp was ejected from the game for arguing a checked-swing call, second baseman Josh VanMeter was forced behind the plate, after never before having caught in the big leagues; in fact, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, VanMeter hadn't put on the catcher's gear in a game since he was 14 years old. What was he feeling squatting behind the plate? "Pure panic," VanMeter said. 

The Pirates went on to lose to the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. Knapp is starting the nightcap, while catcher Michael Perez has been recalled from Triple-A as a backup. 

The Pirates signed Perez to a one-year, $5M contract in the offseason. Thus far in 2022, the 33-year-old is hitting .211 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs.