Indians’ Gomes Hit With a Devastating Blow

After pushing through his rehab assignment and showing some positive signs at the plate with Triple-A Columbus and later Double-A Akron, a hit by pitch in the final RubberDucks home game may have ended catcher Yan Gomes‘ 2016 season.

The Indians announced on Friday afternoon that Cleveland’s starting backstop had suffered a fractured metacarpal bone in his right hand/wrist after being hit by a pitch Wednesday in Akron’s 4-2 win over the Trenton Thunder in Game 2 of the Eastern League Championship Series.

Gomes was scheduled to meet with a specialist Friday evening to shine some light on his injury, which was labeled a non-displaced fracture that should not need surgery to repair.

”I think it’s the understatement that a few things have gone wrong,” Francona said of his banged-up game-caller. ”I think when those types of things happen, and they do happen, I fall back on…I get to see how hard he worked to come back. When guys get challenged, it’s nice to see that he doesn’t tuck his tail and run. If this is something that takes a while to heal, he’s going to continue to work.

“I don’t think anybody would have said anything had he not come back from the shoulder. But he worked so damned hard that he kind of willed himself.”

The ailing 29-year-old was making his tenth rehab appearance in the minors while working his way back from a separated right shoulder suffered on July 17 in Minnesota against the Twins.

Hitting second in Akron’s lineup as the designated hitter in the second game of the Eastern League Championship Series, he flied out in his first at bat in the first, but singled to second and scored later on in the third inning. Up in the fifth for his third plate appearance of the night, he led off the inning against Trenton Thunder starter Will Carter, who plunked him on the right wrist with a pitch.

Gomes remained in the game, moving to third on a double before being forced out at home. He was removed for pinch-hitter Joe Sever in the seventh inning in what was deemed a precautionary move at the time.

Gomes had performed well on his rehab assignment, spending three games with the RubberDucks to close out the regular season before joining the Columbus Clippers for the home portion of the first round of the International League playoffs against the Gwinnett Braves. When the series transferred to Georgia, Gomes moved on to Akron, appearing in two games against the Altoona Curve in the Eastern League Western Division Series before working in both home games of the championship set against the Thunder.

In ten games, Gomes was 9-for-27 (.333) with a homer, five RBI, and nine runs scored while on assignment. He had eight strikeouts, but walked three times.

His disappointing regular season is likely over with a .165/.198/.313 slash line in 71 games. He had eleven doubles, a triple, eight homers, and 32 RBI with just nine walks against 69 strikeouts.

The team will now await word about the severity of the injury and whether or not Gomes would be healed well enough to return at some point later in October if the Indians reach the postseason.

Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez will continue to carry the catching duties in Cleveland, with veteran Adam Moore also on the roster this month from Columbus to help lighten the load before the season ends.

Photo: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

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