Yan Gomes was added to the American League roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game on Saturday night, and was caught off guard when he heard the news.
Gomes stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and was introduced as a member of the team, not even knowing the news at the time.
He was added to the team due to Tampa Bay’s Wilson Ramos, who was voted in as the starter being ruled out of the game due a hamstring injury. Kansas City’s Salvador Perez will likely now start at catcher with Gomes being the backup.
Gomes joins Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer as the six representatives of the Indians for the All-Star Game, the most the organization has had since 1999 and he’s the first Indians catcher since Victor Martinez in 2009 to go to the Midsummer Classic. He is also the first Brazilian-born player ever named an All-Star.
Kluber will not pitch in Tuesday’s game due to a knee injury that forced him to get an injection shot on Friday and is not expected to pitch again until his next scheduled start on July 23.
The 30-year-old catcher has been a solid all-around player for the Indians since they acquired him in late 2012 from Toronto and while he’s had to fight through some injuries, he’s been reliable for the Indians at and behind the plate.
As a hitter during his six seasons with the Tribe, Gomes has batted .246 with 77 home runs and 278 runs batted in. His best season came in 2014 when he hit .278 with a career high 21 home runs and 74 runs batted in which earned him the Silver Slugger award that season. Currently this season he’s hitting .247 with 10 home runs and 31 runs batted in. His .756 OPS (On base percentage + Slugging percentage) ranks third among American League catchers.
Behind the plate, he’s been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. His caught stealing percentage has ranked in the top five of the American League three times during his six years with Cleveland, finishing second twice in 2013 and 2017. This season he’s thrown out 31.6% (12 of 38) of potential base stealers but has also made eight throwing errors compared to the nine total he made last season.
One could make the case he should’ve already been an All-Star over Kansas City’s Perez but Major League Baseball allows a player from every team represented in the game. It’s nice though that Gomes is finally getting the recognition he deserves.