Indians catcher Yan Gomes has certainly not had the year he’d like as we approach the second half of the season. He’s currently in his fourth year with the Indians, who were arguably the hottest team headed into the All-Star Break. At one point they had won 14 straight games. They currently sit six and a half games ahead of the second place team in the AL Central, Detroit Tigers.
Gomes, however, had not been aiding his team’s successes with his performances at the plate. On the season, he’s hitting well below the Mendoza Line at .165, with eight home runs and 32 RBIs. He has not shown any signs of busting out of that slump either, batting .050 in his last seven games. That’s one hit in seven games.
That hit came, in Cleveland’s 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. Prior to the game, Cleveland hosted a bizarre ceremony in order to help break Gomes out of his funk. The ceremony entailed the sacrificing of a store-bought chicken to the “Baseball Gods” in order to absolve Gomes of any wrongdoings committed against them. I guess you can’t call it a complete failure, as he did finally record a hit.
But, I guess the ceremony didn’t completely free him of judgement, as Gomes would injure his shoulder later on in the game. Gomes landed awkwardly on his shoulder running to first base, attempting to dodge the tag of Minnesota first baseman, Kennys Vargas. Gomes would end up with the arm in a sling. The Indians have already announced that Gomes will end up on the DL, and that he will miss a minimum of 6-8 weeks.
While his numbers at the plate might make this injury seem less severe to the Indians’ season hopes, Gomes has done the bulk of the heavy lifting behind the plate for one of the MLB’s top pitching rotations. It may end up affecting their plans for the ever-nearing trade deadline; with Gomes headed to the DL, Cleveland will bring up Roberto Perez from triple-A Columbus. Perez was in Columbus rehabbing a broken right thumb, though, so he may also not be performing at 100%.
If this situation doesn’t dictate that the Indians might need to grab some extra manpower at the catcher position, I don’t know what will. Obviously the big fish on the market at the position appears to be Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He is hitting .303 (almost double of what Gomes was hitting) with 12 homers and 45 RBIs. A lot of teams will be looking at Lucroy this trade dealine. He might be one of the biggest pickups at any position for teams looking to compete in the postseason. As of right now, Cleveland has expressed interest in Lucroy. I expect the Indians to make some kind of move with a catcher by the time the deadline rolls around. Especially, if Gomes’ shoulder is projected to remove him from play for a lengthy duration.
Information from ESPN.com was used in this report.
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