KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Yan Gomes was on his way to the ballpark in Pawtucket, R.I., Saturday when he got the word.
Go directly to Kansas City and put on an Indians uniform. Gomes knew the drill. He has done it before. He had made the reverse trip, from Cleveland to Triple-A just four days earlier.
“Some people thought I never left,” he said, smiling.
Gomes was recalled by the Tribe on Sunday because backup catcher Lou Marson’s right shoulder is inflamed, a condition he has had since spring training.
Less than three weeks ago, Gomes was summoned from Columbus to take the place of Marson, who was forced to go on the disabled list with a strained neck, the result of a collision at the plate.
Gomes started six games and batted .211, but of his four hits, two were home runs and one was a triple. Gomes played in six games for the Clippers and batted .300 with four doubles.
The Tribe’s deep thinkers don’t want Gomes sitting around on a major-league bench 90 percent of the time; they view him as a future everyday catcher who needs consistent reps. That won’t happen now, because Carlos Santana is the Indians’ regular behind the plate.
Manager Terry Francona will try to play Gomes enough to keep him sharp without cutting much into Santana’s playing time.
“We still have to walk that balance,” he said. “We’re here to win, obviously, but his development also is an issue.”
Like most players, Gomes wants to be with the major-league club, even if he has to sit more than he plays.
“I’m a little more comfortable, more relaxed, especially with the kind of environment we have with the guys up here,” Gomes said. “I feel like I’m going to get better just being up here. But I understand there’s a development part.”
Gomes doesn’t have the experience to know how to handle a reserve role, but he’s learning.
“I haven’t perfected it, but I think I have a better feeling for it,” he said. “I’m not trying to do too much when I get in there. You can’t jump your average to .500 in one at-bat.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.