KANSAS CITY -- Roberto Perez was preparing to play for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday, when he began hearing teammates discussing Yan Gomes' right shoulder injury with the Indians. Clippers manager Chris Tremie then informed Perez that he would not be catching against Toledo.
"Tremie said, 'Hang tight. You might be going up,'" Perez said.
On Monday afternoon, Perez was activated from the 60-day disabled list and in the starting lineup for Cleveland in the opener of a three-game series against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Gomes was placed on the 15-day DL, and is expected to be sidelined six-to-eight weeks after sustaining a separated shoulder in Sunday's 6-1 win over the Twins.
Gomes met with Dr. Mark Schickendantz on Monday in Cleveland, where it was confirmed that the catcher had an acromioclavicular joint (or AC joint) separation. The good news was that Gomes would not require surgery on his shoulder and his left knee, which he jammed on the ill-fated fall at first base, checked out fine.
This means Gomes, who is one of the clubhouse leaders, will likely be out until September. Or, if the first-place Indians get where they want to go this fall, their starting catcher might be ready to help out again on the October stage. In the interim, Perez and backup Chris Gimenez will divvy up the catching duties.
"It doesn't look like he needs surgery or anything like that," manager Terry Francona said. "But, it's going to have to heal."
During the fifth inning on Sunday, Gomes chopped a pitch from Twins righty Kyle Gibson to third baseman Eduardo Nunez, whose throw pulled first baseman Kennys Vargas off the bag. Gomes tried to move out of the way of Vargas' sweeping tag, and in the process, he landed awkwardly on the first-base bag. Gomes immediately tumbled hard to the ground, and he was carted off the field after being tended to by head athletic trainer James Quinlan for several minutes.
That setback came two innings after Gomes ended an 0-for-27 slump with a double. Through 71 games, Gomes turned in a .165/.198/.313 slash line, along with the Majors' lowest average on batted balls in play (.190) among hitters with at least 250 plate appearances.
The offensive woes aside, Gomes has played a role in guiding the Tribe's stellar starting rotation.
"It's tough, man," Perez said. "Yan is one of the leaders here in the clubhouse and on this team. He's done a really nice job with the pitching staff. It stinks. I just wish him a speedy recovery."
Perez rejoins the Indians after working his way back from a fractured right thumb, which he sustained during a play at the plate on April 30 in Philadelphia. Perez, who opened the season as the backup to Gomes, underwent surgery on May 6 and recently completed a nine-game Minor League rehab assignment.
Perez said he had been itching to get back to Cleveland.
"Everything is good physically," Perez said. "I've been telling Tito [Francona] for like the last week or so, 'I'm ready.' It happened so quick, man. I'm here now and all I'm thinking about is tonight's game and how to contribute and run the pitching staff. I know I haven't been here, but I was watching the games and keeping an eye on these guys every day.
"They did an unbelievable job and hopefully we keep doing it."
Crockett recalled from Triple-A
Beyond activating Perez, Cleveland also recalled left-hander Kyle Crockett From Triple-A Columbus prior to Monday's game. To clear a spot on the roster, righty Cody Anderson was optioned to the same affiliate.
Crockett returns for his second stint this season with the Indians, who have cycled through an assortment of left-handed relievers this season. At Columbus, Crockett posted a 3.62 ERA in 26 appearances, including a 2.45 ERA since June 15.
"We're trying to find the right mix in our bullpen," Francona said. "Having a lefty. Not having a lefty. We've kind of done both. We know Crockett, so there's some familiarity there. Hopefully, this will help our bullpen."
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 listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.