Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez fractured his right ring finger while attempting to retrieve a pitch delivered by reliever James Karinchak in mid-April but attempted to play through the injury. That might not have been the best option.
According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) and Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com, Perez underwent surgery Friday morning to repair the issue and is slated to miss around eight to 10 weeks of action. Manager Terry Francona didn't have the exact timeframe when speaking with reporters ahead of Friday's home game against the Cincinnati Reds but said Perez would be out "months" instead of "weeks."
Looks like the timeline, as of now, is 8-to-10 weeks for Roberto Pérez. He had to get three pins in his right ring finger to stabilize the fracture. https://t.co/QpEkmdSYHR— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) May 7, 2021
"We were trying to be respectful to Roberto, but we knew going in surgery was more probable than not," Francona explained. "We wanted to be fair to Roberto and not have him come back and put himself at risk. So I think we were prepared for this."
It's a brutal blow for a Cleveland team that's won five straight games and nine of 11 to climb to first place in the American League Central standings at 17-13, as Perez began April coming off back-to-back AL Gold Glove seasons. Austin Hedges is expected to immediately replace Perez, while Rene Rivera will serve as backup.