DETROIT -- Roberto Perez's right hand was covered in a beige wrap and secured with a soft cast in the immediate wake of Sunday's 9-2 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. An ill-fated fastball from reliever Drew VerHagen forced the Tribe catcher out of the game and may send
DETROIT -- Roberto Perez's right hand was covered in a beige wrap and secured with a soft cast in the immediate wake of Sunday's 9-2 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. An ill-fated fastball from reliever Drew VerHagen forced the Tribe catcher out of the game and may send him to the disabled list.
"He really got hit hard," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We'll hope for the best, but we'll prepare for other."
Perez was struck on the side of his hand -- below the pinkie finger -- by a 94-mph fastball from VerHagen in the sixth inning. The Indians' catcher initially remained in the game and came around to score, but was removed in the home half of the sixth as the swelling and bruising increased.
Perez underwent X-rays on his hand and the catcher indicated that "everything looks fine," but Francona described the results as ambiguous. The Indians are in the process of sending the images to Dr. Thomas Graham -- a hand specialist based out of the Cleveland Clinic -- in order to get a second opinion ahead of the Indians' upcoming four-game series with the White Sox in Chicago.
While Francona noted that he would discuss the situation on Sunday night with the Indians' front office, Perez expressed optimism that the issue was not serious.
"I should be good," Perez said. "I'm a tough guy, man. I've been there before. I know what being hurt means. It drives you crazy. ... I got out of the game just to see what was going on, but I could've stayed in the game. We will have more information [Monday]."
During the 2016 season, Perez sustained a fractured thumb in the same hand, but that was in a different area than Sunday's hit-by-pitch.
Normally, Indians catcher Yan Gomes would have been behind the plate for Sunday's game with ace Corey Kluber on the mound, but a 12-inning marathon loss to the Tigers on Saturday necessitated a change in plans. After Perez helped guide Kluber through the first five of his eight dominant innings, Gomes took over for Perez and delivered a two-run home run in the eighth.
"Whenever you get ambushed and get put into a game like that," Gomes said, "you don't have time to think about getting loose or anything like that. I was ready."
Gomes has garnered the bulk of the innings at catcher this season, with Perez serving as the primary backup. Combined, they have given Cleveland one of the better defensive units in the Majors over the past few seasons. Gomes hoped Perez would not have to miss much time.
"That was actually pretty scary," Gomes said. "Right when he got hit, it sounded different. You hope for the best-case scenario, that it just hits a muscle. We're hoping for good news for him."
The Indians' 40-man roster currently includes two additional catchers: Francisco Mejia and Eric Haase. The 22-year-old Mejia is the team's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, but has been off to a slow start at Triple-A, hitting .216 with a .611 OPS through 49 games. Haase (No. 20 on the Indians' Top 30 prospect list) has also labored offensively, with a .205 average (.588 OPS) in 51 games.
"We've got some things to work through," Francona said. "We're going to have to [have] a lot of conversations tonight, I'm sure."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.