Bill Baer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 17: Yan Gomes #10 of the Cleveland Indians reacts after being injured on a play at first base during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 17, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Yan Gomes expected to miss four to eight weeks with an A/C joint injury

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Indians catcher Yan Gomes suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury attempting to beat out a ground ball on Sunday against the Twins. He lunged for first base and attempted to contort his body to avoid a tag, as the throw from third baseman Eduardo Nunez pulled first baseman Kennys Vargas off the bag. Gomes hit the first base bag awkwardly, then tumbled to the ground, landing awkwardly on his shoulder.

Gomes was diagnosed with an A/C joint separation, the club announced on Monday, and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. He’s expected to miss the next four to eight weeks. Gomes is not expected to need surgery.

Gomes, who won a Silver Slugger award in 2014, was having a tough year offensively, batting .165/.198/.313 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 262 plate appearances.

The Indians activated catcher Roberto Perez from the 60-day disabled list to take Gomes’ spot on the roster, so he’ll share time behind the plate with Chris Gimenez. Gimenez hasn’t been any better than Gomes, batting .188/.231/.271 in 92 plate appearances. With the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline approaching, the first-place Indians may be on the hunt for a catcher.

Royals claim Nick Tepesch off waivers from the Athletics

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24:  Nick Tepesch #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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The Royals announced on Monday that the club claimed pitcher Nick Tepesch off waivers from the Athletics. He’ll report to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals transferred pitcher Kris Medlen to the 60-day disabled list to open up room on the 40-man roster for Tepesch.

Tepesch, 27, has had a wild two months. He was released by the Rangers in early June. The Dodgers inked him to a minor league deal shortly thereafter, and he made one spot start for the club. He yielded five runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in four innings against the Pirates. The Dodgers designated him for assignment on June 25, and the Athletics claimed him off waivers two days later. Tepesch made three starts with Triple-A Nashville for the A’s. He was designated for assignment three days ago.

Tepesch will provide starting pitching depth for the Royals. He owns a career 4.68 ERA and a 135/71 K/BB ratio across 40 starts and three relief appearances spanning parts of three seasons in the big leagues.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 09:  Nick Tropeano #35 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the third inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
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We don’t give reliable back-end starting pitchers enough credit. I’ve thought as much since, as a Phillies fan, I watched nearly a decade of Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick certainly wasn’t a perennial Cy Young candidate, but he made 30 starts in four of his eight seasons with the Phillies and even worked out of the bullpen, particularly in 2011-12. Fans didn’t like Kendrick, though, because when he got hit, he got hit hard. I’d imagine Yankees fans feel similarly about Ivan Nova.

I preface that because Nick Tropeano is going for the Angels tonight against the Rangers’ A.J. Griffin in a 10:05 PM EDT start at Angel Stadium. Tropeano wasn’t supposed to be in the Angels’ rotation, but Andrew Heaney suffered a flexor strain at the start of the season. Tropeano, 25, made seven starts and one relief appearance for the Angels last year, serving mostly as an emergency starter until rosters expanded in September. He finished with a 3.82 ERA and a 38/10 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings. Very solid numbers. So far this year, Tropeano has a 3.12 ERA with a 66/30 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings spanning 12 starts.

Assuming he’s able to continue pitching well through the end of the season, Tropeano has likely secured himself a spot in the Angels’ rotation next year, as Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson will become free agents. The rotation will then include Hector Santiago, Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, and Heaney.

Tropeano has pitched excellently, but he would still be plenty valuable even if his ERA were 4.12 instead of 3.12. Maybe even 5.12. Nearly a decade ago, Jeff Sackmann of The Hardball Times found that the MLB average ERA for a number five starter was 5.94. As run-scoring has gone down since then — 4.86 runs per game in ’06, 4.48 in ’16 — it’s not quite that bad, but still shows just how tough it is to get reliable starting pitching at the back of the starting rotation.

To the Kyle Kendricks, Ivan Novas, and Nick Tropeanos of the world: I see you, and I respect you.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman) @ New York Yankees (Ivan Nova), 7:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Steven Matz) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 7:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler) @ Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco) @ Detroit Tigers (Matt Boyd), 7:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 8:15 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Christian Friedrich) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake), 8:15 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Mike Fiers) @ Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman), 10:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale) @ Seattle Mariners (Wade LeBlanc), 10:10 PM EDT