MLB Team Report - Cleveland Indians - INSIDE PITCH

CHICAGO -- It isn't official yet, but it looks like starting catcher Yan Gomes will be ready to get back in the lineup for the Cleveland Indians on Friday in Kansas City.

If so, that means backup catcher Roberto Perez will go back to playing sparingly. Perez, however, continued to make a good impression on manager Terry Francona in the seven games he's played with Gomes on the seven-day disabled list.

The Indians went 4-3 with Perez behind the plate and he hit .250 during that time, including a 1-for-4 performance in a 3-2 win against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night to decide a three-game series.

"I think he's done tremendous," Francona said. "It's kind of a cool story. His whole minor league career, he was always known for being such a good defensive catcher and really had a good reputation for running a game and being a good teammate, and all of a sudden things offensively started to fall together and he's a threat when he's at the plate. And as a backup catcher, that's hard because you're not playing much anyway."

Perez made his major league debut July 10 with the Indians, who selected him in the 33rd round of the 2008 first-year player draft. In 19 games, he's hitting .278 with a home run and four RBIs. He's also put down (five) sacrifice bunts, which has also impressed Francona.

"He's a pretty alert kid and for a guy who maybe doesn't look the part, he's a really good bunter," Francona said. "He gets the ball down. I think we're pretty fortunate."

As for Gomes, Francona said the final determination about whether he'll face the Royals on Friday will happen after the Indians go through their pre-game routine.

"I would think (he'll play)," Francona said. "We'll obviously reserve the right to get him on the flight (Thursday night) and we'll let him get through all his (work Thursday) and then we'll probably even wait and let him get through pre-game, just because there's no reason not to. Then we'll do something."

Cleveland will have to make a corresponding roster move at that point.


MLB Team Report - Cleveland Indians - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 68-64

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Indians (RHP Danny Salazar, 4-6, 4.52 ERA) at Royals (LHP Jason Vargas, 10-6, 3.17 ERA)


--RHP Danny Salazar (4-6, 4.52 ERA) will start the opening game of a big series for the Indians on Friday. Cleveland trails the first-place Kansas City Royals by 5.5 games in the American League Central and could apply some heat to the race if things go really well. The start will be the 15th of the season for 24-year old Salazar, a hard-thrower who's gone 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA in outings that have lasted at least five innings. Getting to that point more consistently is the issue. "It's probably just too easy to say, but when Danny gets in attack mode, (he's) pretty good," manager Terry Francona said. "If he can get in attack mode (quickly) and stay there right from the get-go, that's when he's really (tough)."

--RHP Carlos Carrasco was dominant again in the Indians' 3-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night. Carrasco struck out seven and gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings, retiring 12 in a row between the third and seventh innings. Carrasco, who was shifted to the bullpen after a rough start to the season in the rotation, is now 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA in his past four outings.

--DH Nick Swisher is still in Los Angeles rehabbing his surgically repaired knees and will likely spend the remainder of the season there, according to Cleveland manager Terry Francona. Swisher had the media meniscus in each knee arthroscopically repaired Aug. 20 and is expected to be fully healed in time for spring training next season.