CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The only break Yan Gomes caught this season was the one he didn’t want.
And now it appears his season from hell is officially over.
On Friday, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona revealed that scans of Gomes’ right wrist indicated the catcher had suffered a non-displaced fracture during his Minor League rehab assignment with the Double-A Akron Rubberducks earlier this week.
After seeing a hand specialist on Friday night, it was determined that the fracture is likely a 6-8 week injury, which probably ends any possibility of Gomes returning to the Indians in 2016.
“The expectation that he would play [in the regular season or playoffs] is unfair to Gomes,” Francona said on Saturday afternoon. “Chances are his season is over.”
In his final at-bat of his last scheduled rehab game, Gomes was hit by a pitch on his right wrist in Wednesday’s Eastern League Championship Series game vs. Trenton.
He was sent for an MRI and additional tests, which revealed more bad news for the snakebitten backstop.
“I think it’s the understatement that a few things have gone wrong,” Francona said. “I think when those types of things happen, and they do happen, I fall back on, I get to see how hard he worked to come back. When guys get challenged, it’s nice to see that he doesn’t tuck his tail and run.”
The 2016 campaign has truly been a series of unfortunate events for Gomes.
The year began with the 29-year-old catcher having the worst offensive season of his career. Gomes slashed .165/.198/.313 in 71 games this season with eight homers, 32 RBI and 21 runs scored.
To help shake him from his funk — and in the interest of showing support for their struggling comrade — the team made a playful offering to the baseball gods in Gomes’ honor on July 16.
The next day, it appeared to be working when the right-handed hitter was gifted a double off the leg of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, but a few innings later, Gomes was tagged by Kennys Vargas after an errant throw took the infielder off the first base bag.
The Tribe catcher tumbled to the ground and immediately grabbed his knee. But after a short period laying on his back, trainers began looking at his right shoulder.
It was later confirmed that Gomes had suffered an AC joint separation, which forced him out of action until he began a Minor League rehab assignment on Sept. 2.
Prior to Wednesday’s injury, Gomes was originally set to be activated by Cleveland on Friday. Now, it appears any shot of an activation prior to the end of the season or playoffs is gone.
“If this is something that takes a while to heal, he’s going to continue to work.” Francona said. “That’s what you’re looking for. Things do happen. Things are going to continue to happen. We’re glad that we have fighters who want to come back and be every bit as good or better than they were.”
Somehow, despite Gomes’ tough season and Michael Brantley’s continued shoulder setbacks throughout the 2016 campaign, the Indians have built a seven-game lead in the AL Central and have positioned themselves to potentially make the postseason for the first time since 2013.