CLEVELAND -- Indians catcher Carlos Santana initially thought he had broken his thumb. Anyone who watched the fastball from closer Chris Perez cross the catcher up and drill his left hand on Monday night probably had the same reaction.
"We all saw it. He got smoked," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Tuesday.
The Indians caught a break: Santana only suffered a bruise.
The X-rays on Santana's hand came back negative for any structural damage, but the catcher is considered day to day and likely will miss a few games. In the meantime, Cleveland made a handful of roster moves to offer more protection behind the plate, especially because backup Lou Marson has also been dealing with lingering neck stiffness.
Prior to Tuesday's game against the Yankees, the Indians placed Marson on the 15-day disabled list and promoted catchers Yan Gomes and Omir Santos from Triple-A Columbus. In order to add Santos to the 40-man roster, Cleveland designated pitcher Robert Whitenack -- claimed off waivers from the Cubs on Wednesday -- for assignment.
Marson suffered a cervical (neck) strain during a hard collision at the plate with Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings in the third inning of Saturday's road game against Tampa Bay. Cleveland's backup catcher will be eligible to come off the DL on April 24.
"We put Lou in the game [Monday] to back up and we were not comfortable with that," Francona said. "So we sat there last night and we talked through all kinds of different scenarios. What we're going to do is we DL'd Lou. That allowed us to get Yan Gomes here and he will start catching tonight."
Gomes, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in a November trade, was in the lineup Tuesday and batted ninth. Last season, the 25-year-old Gomes hit .204 in 43 games in five stints with the Blue Jays, and .328 with 13 homers, 29 doubles and 59 RBIs in 79 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. He had two doubles and two RBIs in four games with Columbus this year.
"It's exciting," Gomes said, "especially being around these guys in Spring Training and just seeing how much fun they're having. I'm excited to come out here and have a good time."
The Indians are hoping that Santana will need only a few days before being cleared to at least serve as the backup catcher. Through seven games this season, the switch-hitter had a .500 (13-for-26) average to go along with two homers, four doubles, four walks, five runs and five RBIs.
"I'm having a great start and I don't want to stop," Santana said. "But, I'm not 100 percent now and I can't play now. Maybe in the next couple days we'll see what happens."