CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
Roberto Perez's absence from the Cleveland Indians' lineup will be a matter of months, not weeks.
On Friday, the Indians announced that Perez will miss approximately 8-10-weeks after undergoing surgery on his right ring finger. Renowned hand surgeon Dr. Thomas J. Graham performed the procedure, which included inserting three pins into Perez's hand, at Kettering Health in Dayton, Ohio.
Perez initially suffered the injury while catching against the Chicago White Sox on April 13, but continued to play until being placed on the 10-day injured list on May 5. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said that while Perez was able to play through the pain of his injury, it was clear that it was affecting his performance, with the pain worsening for Perez as games wore on.
A two-time Gold Glove Award winner and the 2019 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, the 32-year-old Perez has established a reputation as one of the top defensive catchers in all of baseball since taking over as Cleveland's full-time primary catcher in 2019. In 19 games this season, Perez has hit for a .131 average (.569 OPS), three home runs and nine RBIs.
With Perez out of the lineup, the Indians have relied on Austin Hedges and Rene Rivera at catcher. Laying claim to a 17-13 record following a four-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland enters this weekend's series with the Cincinnati Reds in first place of the American League Central.