CLEVELAND — A rough season for Yan Gomes has taken a cruel twist.
Just as Cleveland’s catcher was about to return to the lineup after missing six weeks with a separated shoulder, Gomes broke his right wrist during a minor league rehab assignment and is likely done for the season.
Gomes sustained a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday night for Double-A Akron. The 29-year-old had been expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday and catch Corey Kluber when the AL Central-leading Indians opened a crucial three-game series against Detroit.
Instead, he’ll be seen by a specialist who will determine whether he’ll play again in 2016.
It’s an unfortunate blow for Gomes, who was already struggling at the plate when he separated his right shoulder on July 17 when he fell trying to beat out a play at first base in Minnesota.
Manager Terry Francona felt badly for Gomes, who was limited to 95 games last season because of a knee injury.
“I think it’s the understatement that a few things have gone wrong,” Francona said. “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.
“That’s what you’re looking for. Things do happen. Things are going to continue to happen, we’re glad that we have fighters who want to come back and be every bit as good or better than they were.”
The Indians had hoped to have Gomes back for the stretch run as they try to clinch their first division title since 2007. He would have been another right-handed bat and his familiarity with Cleveland’s pitching staff can’t be underestimated.
With Gomes out, the Indians will continue to play Roberto Perez and Chris Gomes behind the plate.
Cleveland has withstood other major injuries this season. Left fielder Michael Brantley was limited to only 11 games following shoulder surgery and starter Carlos Carrasco missed six weeks with a hamstring injury.
Francona has been impressed with his team’s resiliency.
“Those are guys you want on your side,” he said. “And we’re not the only team. Shoot, there are a lot of good players in this game. But these are our guys, and I get proud of them, not just for hitting a home run but Gomer trying to come back through all this. I don’t think anybody would have said anything had he not come back from the shoulder.
“But he worked so damn hard that he kind of willed himself.”
Francona also revealed that right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall is day-to-day with an abdominal issue. He underwent an MRI, which Francona said “came back good.”
The Indians will be cautious with Chisenhall.
“When he plays, we don’t want him to hurt himself,” Francona said. “So we’re trying to balance giving him a day or two and then we’ll keep re-evaluating him. We don’t want to pinch-hit him and have him run out of the box and hurt himself. We’re trying to balance that now and we’ll continue to do that.”