CLEVELAND -- Things have changed a lot in the Indians' clubhouse since the last time Chris Gimenez had a locker in the room.
The catcher looked around on Sunday morning and saw players he once knew only as prospects. These days, those kids have developed into leaders for a Cleveland club that is fighting for a playoff spot, rather than playing out the string.
"This is definitely a destination where a lot of people want to come," Gimenez said. "I was here through the rough parts of it. It's actually pretty cool. Guys like [Jason] Kipnis and [Lonnie] Chisenhall, those are younger guys who, when I was here, were just breaking in."
Gimenez -- acquired from the Rangers in exchange for future considerations on Saturday -- was officially recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to Sunday's game against the Astros. He will serve as the backup catcher to rookie Roberto Perez, while starting catcher Yan Gomes resides on Major League Baseball's 7-day concussion list.
The 31-year-old Gimenez, who played for the Indians during the 2009-10 seasons when Cleveland lost a combined 190 games, was happy to be back with his first organization. Over parts of six seasons in the big leagues, the catcher has posted a .215 average at the plate and a 26-percent caught-stealing rate behind it, during stints with Cleveland, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Texas.
In 34 big league games this season, Gimenez hit .262 for the Rangers. He was most recently with Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .283 with six home runs, 22 RBIs and an .843 OPS in 39 games. Gimenez had to fly from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles on Saturday, where he caught a red-eye flight to Detroit, where he hopped on a flight to Cleveland to arrive on Sunday morning.
"It was a rough night," Gimenez said with a laugh. "I'm willing to help in any way possible. I'll do whatever I can do -- play wherever, talk to whomever. That's the fun part of it now for me, just getting a chance to come back here and reconnect with some guys -- and having a chance to do whatever I can do to help."
Indians manager Terry Francona said Gimenez has been targeted by the Tribe since last winter.
"His reputation in the organization is so good," Francona said. "It was kind of a no-brainer. ... To get him over here, we were really thrilled. I don't know him very well, but I feel like I do."