It’s a good thing that the Indians have some depth at catcher, because they’re starting to run through players during the first two weeks of the season. First, Lou Marson was injured in the home plate collision and was listed as day-to-day. Then Carlos Santana was hit on the hand in the ninth inning of yesterday’s game, and also listed as day-to-day with a bruise. As I mentioned yesterday, Marson seemed to have problems just throwing back to the mound. I can’t imagine what would happen if he had to try and nail runners attempting to steal. Once other teams realized that vulnerability they would have been running with reckless abandon. Plus, I’m not even sure how Marson would respond to catching a full nine innings with a neck that’s still stiff and sore, nonetheless do so for several straight days. Then there would be no backups available if something else happened to Marson – you’d either be leaving an injured catcher in a game, or going with Ryan Raburn, a man who has never caught but was supposedly the emergency backup.
I couldn’t imagine the Indians not making a move after Santana’s injury last night, and fortunately they’ve made a couple this afternoon (and will likely make another one in the next few hours). They’ve placed Marson on the DL with the official diagnosis “a cervical neck strain” and called up Yan Gomes to take his place. They’ve also announced that they’re going to call up veteran journeyman Omir Santos as well. Since Santos, a spring training invitee signed to a minor league contract, is not on the 40-man roster, the Indians will have to play a bit of roster roulette before tonight’s game in order to free space for him. So far Santos is 0 for 3 in Columbus, but he had a nice spring – he hit .375 with a home run and 6 RBI.
For me, these moves are somewhat of a relief. Gomes is really versatile, so he can play a number of positions once Santana returns to action. I know that the Indians don’t really want him to be a part-time player since he’ll see more playing time in Columbus, but he’s still someone that can help in various areas until Lou Marson returns from the DL. Santos provides some additional insurance, because you don’t want to use Raburn or an injured Santana if something were to happen to Gomes. With the weird situation involving Carrasco’s suspension and Giambi’s trip to the DL, the Indians really can’t afford to have a bunch of players sitting on the bench that aren’t on the DL, but really aren’t able to see game action at this point. I know it stings to take someone out of action for 15 days when they may not need that full amount of time for recovery, but you also can’t have multiple people on the bench that can’t play. At least now the Indians have two healthy catchers in Cleveland.