After getting pulled from Tuesday’s game with a mild concussion, Perez came in to the ballpark Wednesday feeling much better and passed all of his concussion protocol testing. Although it looks like he will avoid the injured list, Perez will still need to sit for a few days, so the Indians recalled catcher Eric Haase from Triple-A Columbus.
To make room for Haase on the 25-man roster, Cleveland designated Gonzalez for assignment.
“You know, it was so hard because we loved the way he carried himself,” Francona said of Gonzalez. “We loved his professionalism. And there’s a lot to be said for that. We weren’t seeing the offense that we needed and he said that, too. Does it come with another 100 at-bats? We don’t have a crystal ball and none of us is smart enough to know what the next 100 at-bats might bring.”
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
If the player is claimed off said waivers by another club, he is immediately added to that team's 40-man roster, at which point he can be optioned to the Minor Leagues (if he has Minor League options remaining) or assigned to his new team's 25-man roster. If the player clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the Minor Leagues or released. Players with more than three years of Major League service time or who have been previously outrighted may reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.
In 117 plate appearances with the Tribe, Gonzalez his .210/.282/.276 with one double, two homers, seven RBIs, 10 walks and 33 strikeouts. The 33-year-old had a 49 OPS+ and a 50 wRC+. He was signed by the Indians on March 19, missing nearly the entire Spring Training camp with the club. Gonzalez started the year in Triple-A Columbus to get some at-bats before joining the team on April 14.
“Well, I think his offseason was the same,” Francona said. “I don’t think his offseason was any different. Certainly, he didn’t go to Spring Training. I don’t see how that can help. You try to not rush the process, so just because of what you’re alluding to, but I think guys that missing Spring Training, there’s no way it helps.”
“I think we’re also at a point where we feel like we need to find out about some of these younger guys," Francona said. "And if we don’t find out, that could be a mistake. There’s gonna be the Oscar Mercado’s, Naquin, Greg Allen, even though he’s not here right now. We need to find out if these guys are guys that we can win with. And sometimes the answer’s yes and sometimes the answer’s no, but not knowing is not good.”
Grouped into the younger mix, although not an outfielder, is Haase, who will spend a handful of days with the team as Perez bounces back from the concussion symptoms he experienced on Tuesday. In 30 games with Columbus, the 26-year-old hit .245/.341/.564 with two doubles, 11 homers and 19 RBIs.
“A lot of power,” Francona said of the reports on Haase. “Some swing-and-miss still, which we know. He’s definitely going to be a threat when he’s hitting. It’ll be interesting to see, because when you see guys in Spring Training -- because he really swung the bat well at Spring Training -- and then you don’t see them from six, seven weeks, it’s going to be interesting to see how he looks, just to get your eyes on him.”
Bradley Zimmer (right shoulder/right oblique): Zimmer will play the outfield in Arizona for the first time on Wednesday after DHing over the weekend. Francona said that he will stay in Goodyear for about five or six more days before being transferred to Columbus to begin a rehab assignment.
Mike Clevinger (upper back strain): Clevinger will throw another bullpen this Friday before throwing live batting practice early next week.
Naquin (left calf strain): Naquin is currently sprinting and taking batting practice on the field and is expected to get some outfield work on Friday. His game action is still to be determined based on how he progresses this weekend.
Danny Salazar (right shoulder): Salazar is still throwing bullpen sessions in Arizona. His next step will be throwing live batting practice, but when he’ll make that progression is still unknown.
This date in Indians history
1961: Willie Kirkland and Valmy Thomas hit RBI singles in the top of the 15th inning, as the Tribe defeated Minnesota, 7-5.