CHICAGO -- The absence of catcher Yan Gomes over the past week has given the Indians the chance to take a close look at what they have in rookie Roberto Perez. If Gomes is activated from Major League Baseball's concussion list as expected on Friday, Perez will slide back to the backup role.
While Cleveland was already impressed with Perez's play in the reserve role, the team has been thrilled with how he has handled the increased responsibility of late.
"He's done tremendous," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Thursday. "It's kind of a cool story. His whole Minor League career he was always known for being such a good defensive catcher and really had a good reputation for running a game and being a good teammate. And, all of a sudden, things offensively started to fall together."
Heading into Thursday's game against the White Sox, the 25-year-old Perez was batting .280 with four extra-base hits, four RBIs and five runs scored in 17 games for the Indians. The Tribe's pitching staff had a 2.65 ERA with Perez behind the plate and he had also thrown out 50 percent (6-for-12) of would-be basestealers.
Perez was not happy to see Gomes land on MLB's seven-day consussion list on Saturday, but the young catcher has enjoyed filling in as the starter.
"You never want to see that happen to a guy," Perez said ."Something serious like a concussion, I don't wish that on anybody. But now that I've had the opportunity to play every day, I just want to call a good game and just keep learning."
Francona said Gomes will need to pass some more tests before being cleared for activation in time for Friday's road game against Kansas City.
"We'll reserve the right to [change our mind]," Francona said on Thursday. "Obviously, we'll get him on the flight tonight and we'll let him go through all his stuff today, and then we'll probably even wait and let him get through pregame [Friday] just because there's no reason not to. And then we'll do something."