Gomez received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine from the league on Wednesday for hitting the Royals' third baseman with a pitch in the third inning of Cleveland's 11-9 victory. Gomez will appeal the suspension and is scheduled to start this coming Saturday in a road start against the A's.
"We respect the league's decision," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We're going to make the proper adjustments. Gomez is going to appeal, he's going to pitch on Saturday against Oakland, and then probably after that he'll drop it and pitch again."
If Gomez drops the appeal as anticipated, he would be eligible to return to the Indians' rotation for a home start against the Angels on April 28. The right-hander said he was caught off guard by the news that MLB decided to punish him for his part in Saturday's bench-clearing incidents in Kansas City.
"I was surprised about that," Gomez said. "It wasn't intentional. I was trying to throw to the inside corner."
The pitch in question came a half-inning after Tribe right fielder Shin-Soo Choo was hit in the right knee by an offering from Royals lefty Jonathan Sanchez. Last June, Sanchez shattered Choo's left thumb with a pitch, causing the right fielder to miss more than six weeks of the season. After the latest plunking, Choo had some choice words for Sanchez, and the benches emptied at Kauffman Stadium.
During both altercations on the field, Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan was in the thick of things, though he did not throw any punches. Acta, Gomez and Hannahan were ejected from the game. The third baseman was hit with a $500 fine from MLB, but he does not plan on appealing.
Hannahan had no issues with Gomez's actions.
"It's not like he was throwing at his head or anything like that," Hannahan said. "He was just protecting his position players. That's what pitchers are supposed to do. I was surprised that no one on Kansas City was ejected or fined, but it's baseball. You live and learn."
That said, Hannahan added that he does not expect the Indians and Royals will have bad blood in future meetings.
"That's the good thing about baseball," Hannahan said. "You can get it over and done with in one game."
Indians closer Chris Perez was also hit with a $750 fine, but his punishment had nothing to do with the on-field events. Perez was fined for a postgame message on his Twitter account Saturday night, which read: "Huge team win tonight, time for a sweep of the Royals. It's not "Our Time', it's TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we it you. Period."