CLEVELAND -- By the end of Thursday night's 11-4 loss to the Yankees, the Indians had lost both ends of their starting pitching-catching battery.
But although catcher Carlos Santana's knee injury does not appear serious, the Indians will have to wait and see the severity of Mitch Talbot's mid-back strain. While his teammates are heading to Toronto, Talbot will remain in Cleveland for an MRI on Friday.
Before Talbot even took the mound in the third, reliever Rafael Perez had begun warming in the bullpen. Talbot came out to warm up, then gave up a leadoff single to Colin Curtis and threw two balls to Derek Jeter before manager Manny Acta and head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff trotted out to the mound. Perez was called on to relieve Talbot, who said he first felt the strain on a pitch in the second.
"I really don't think it's serious at all," Talbot said. "I think I'll be out there again in five days. I don't think I'll miss any time."
Talbot tried to stretch his back between innings but still felt the strain in the third. The Indians didn't want to risk it any further.
It was the rookie Talbot's 20th start this season. He is 8-9 with a 4.09 ERA. Because of this short start and the ensuing tax it put on the bullpen, the Indians will make a roster move to add a reliever on Friday.
Santana's injury does not appear to be anything that will prompt a roster move. The rookie cleanup hitter was behind the plate in the seventh when reliever Joe Smith was pitching to Curtis Granderson. Santana's glove missed a Smith slider, and the ball hit him square in the kneecap. Santana went to the ground in pain and was looked over by Soloff.
After a few minutes, action resumed and Santana remained in the game, but he was replaced by Chris Gimenez at the beginning of the eighth.
"I iced it," Santana said of his knee. "I'll be ready to go [Friday]."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. He blogs about baseball at CastroTurf. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.