The return of catcher Yan Gomes to the Indians’ roster looks to have hit a snag, as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Gomes was hit on the right wrist by a pitch in the fifth inning of his final rehab game at Double-A Akron last night. Hoynes further reports that Gomes will receive an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage done, though the team won’t have definitive results on the testing until tomorrow (links to Twitter). If he’s unable to return, the Indians will continue to rely on Roberto Perez and veteran Chris Gimenez behind the dish. That pairing has produced little in the way of offensive value on the season as a whole, but Perez’s bat has caught fire since late August; he’s slashing .306/.358/.531 with a pair of homers, three doubles and a triple in his past 55 plate appearances.
More from the AL Central…
- Twins slugger Miguel Sano won’t travel with the team to New York and will instead undergo testing on his ailing back in Minneapolis, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Sano took some swings in the batting cage yesterday, but Berardino writes that the cage work “didn’t go well,” adding that there’s no certainty that Sano will be able to return to the lineup before the end of the 2016 season. The loss of Sano can’t hurt the Twins much more in terms of their overall performance, as Minnesota is currently poised to land the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft after a disastrous 2016 campaign, but Sano remains a work in progress at the hot corner, so the remaining 16 games could prove beneficial from a development standpoint.
- The struggles of Joakim Soria could make the bullpen an offseason priority for the Royals, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Soria’s 4.19 ERA is the worst mark of his career, and the seven blown saves he’s suffered this season are also a career-worst. Manager Ned Yost attributes much of his team’s 2016 struggle to the fact that, “we’re not the same bullpen we were last year.” Indeed, Yost noted that the club knew what it could expect on a nightly basis from the likes of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. The 2016 season is another story entirely. Holland underwent Tommy John surgery late last year and had to be non-tendered, while Davis has missed time on the DL due to a pair of forearm injuries and Luke Hochevar has been shut down due to thoracic outlet syndrome. The signing of Soria was supposed to deepen the ’pen, but the right-hander’s return to the Royals organization has gone poorly, making his three-year, $25MM contract look even more questionable than it did at the time of the signing.
- The Tigers are knowingly taking a risk with right-hander Michael Fulmer, writes Tony Paul of the Detroit News. Tigers management had hoped to cap Fulmer’s innings at 160 this season, but he’ll pass that mark in tomorrow’s start and figures to surpass it by a considerable amount when all is said and done — especially if the Tigers can secure a postseason berth. However, as Paul points out, the Tigers would be in no position to even compete for a postseason spot at this juncture were it not for Fulmer’s remarkable breakout. Manager Brad Ausmus spoke to Paul about the handling of the Rookie of the Year front-runner, acknowledging the risk but also highlighting that the protection of young arms is at best an inexact science. “Guys are getting Tommy John surgeries at an unbelievable rate, even with the protection,” said Ausmus. “…The 25-percent (innings bump), maybe there’s proof out there that it protects pitchers. I haven’t seen it.”