Terry Francona has said often that Yan Gomes has made a big impact on the Indians in his short time with the organization. With the way that Gomes is going through his rehab from last month’s knee injury, there is a chance the Indians catcher could be back soon.
When Gomes sustained a moderate sprain of the MCL in his right knee during an April 11 game against the Tigers, the timetable was that he would miss 6-8 weeks. After doing some throwing and batting drills last week, Gomes threw to bases out of his catching crouch and took batting practice before Tuesday’s game at Kansas City.
While most feared the worst when Gomes went down, he didn’t think it was going to be bad.
"When it happened it was just a little sharp pain. I was like, ‘All right, I’m good,’" Gomes said recently. "I thought I could still stay in the game. But then as it went on it started hurting and I couldn’t move it around so much. When the MRI came out I think the doctors had already kind of told me what they thought so I was already expecting it when the MRI came."
Gomes was injured when Detroit’s Rajai Davis slid and struck Gomes’ right leg on a force out at home. Gomes said he has asked himself many times if he could have done anything different, but the only thing would have been not keep his foot there, which would have allowed Davis to be safe.
Davis did reach out to Gomes shortly after the play to apologize. Gomes said he knows that it wasn’t intentional and with how fast Davis is, he wasn’t going to slow down on the slide.
Added Gomes: "It was a slow hopper and I was just trying to make sure we got the out at home so I tried to stretch out and he ended up sliding and hitting me in the heel. It was kind of a vulnerable spot on my heel and it bent my knee in a different way.
"You do that play many times a year, and if I know that’s going to happen I’m still going to try to get the out."
The day after Gomes was injured he was presented with his Silver Slugger award from last season. Gomes wanted to go out there sans crutches, but the doctors would not allow it.
Gomes has been seen often in the Indians’ clubhouse the past two weeks. He made the drive to Detroit for the final game of the nine-game road trip in late April and has continued to make progress. Saturday marked the four-week mark since the injury occurred.
With the progress that Gomes is making, Francona told reporters this week that Gomes could come back as the designated hitter and catch part-time until he is comfortable with catching on a regular basis.
Gomes though has not talked with trainers or anyone else about when a possible rehab assignment could begin.
"It’s tough, but you gotta be patient," he said recently about the entire timetable.