Roberto Perez, the Cleveland Indians’ catcher and two-time Gold Glove Award winner, will be suspended for at least two months after having surgery Friday to patch a broken right ring finger.
The Indians said there is no set timeline for Perez’s return, which required three pins to be implanted into his palm. Perez’s projected time of return is eight to ten weeks, according to the staff.
“I mean, it’s not weeks. It’s months,” Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters Friday. “Anything that we pass along, it’s going to be a rough estimate just because, again, we’ve been through this before. It’s not perfect.”
Perez was injured on April 13 against the Chicago White Sox when he got mixed up on a pitch from reliever James Karinchak. The pitch broke when Perez got out of his squat to grab what he figured was a fastball. The ball clipped his right ring finger as he responded, causing the fracture.
The 32-year-old catcher tried to play despite the pain. He was subsequently put on the 10-day disabled list by the club on Wednesday.
Perez posted a photo of himself in a hospital bed on social media Friday, saying the procedure was finished and he will return soon. Austin Hedges is expected to get the bulk of starts while Perez is sidelined, with Rene Rivera serving as backup.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Francona said Friday. “I think it’s easy to say, ‘Well, Rene had three hits [Thursday], why don’t you play him today?’ But that was his first game that he’s actually caught nine innings, so we don’t want to overdo him, either.
“So we’ll try to use good judgement. My guess is you’ll see Hedges catch more, maybe not quite as much as Roberto was.”
Perez has a .131 batting average with three home runs and nine RBIs over 19 games this season.