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Roberto Pérez played all of 2019 with bone spurs in his ankle

Gold Glove winner, borderline national hero

Cleveland Indians v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Take a minute, if you will, and try to sit in a catcher’s squat for 10 minutes straight. After you make some unnerving grunts and groans on your way back to your computer to continue reading this post, try it again but also shove a knife right into that tendon behind your ankle.

That’s exactly what Roberto Pérez did (metaphorically, of course) for 118 games this season. It was his first season of guaranteed playing time, and he managed to play well enough to some noticeable hardware.

Yes, Roberto Pérez — the best catcher in baseball — finally has the hardware to back up what most Indians fans have known for a long time: He is an excellent defender. And right or wrong, he probably won it this year because he also had the bat to get name the name recognition required for the award.

With a perfectly fine 98 wRC+, 24 home runs (fifth among MLB catchers), and not a single passed ball this season, Pérez burst onto the scene as one of bseball’s best behind the plate. And he did it all with some sharp pointy bois poking at his weight-bearing ankles.

He had them removed shortly after the season ended and is not expected to miss any time.

But, still. Ow.