CLEVELAND — The Indians will carry two catchers and two left-handed relievers on their ALCS roster against Toronto.
For its matchup with the Blue Jays, Cleveland added rookie lefty Ryan Merritt and dropped catcher Chris Gimenez, who was on the roster for the division series sweep of Boston but didn’t play. Without Gimenez, Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes will handle the catching duties.
Gomes has made a remarkable recovery from a broken hand sustained in September to be ready for the ALDS. He had been expected to miss up to two months, but Gomes worked his way back and said the fracture has healed enough that he can play.
Gimenez and Gomes were the last two players to leave the field Thursday as the Indians worked out before Friday’s series opener. Both catchers took turns throwing to third and second in what may have been a final test to make sure Gomes was OK.
Merritt spent the ALDS in Arizona, where he and several other Indians pitchers threw bullpen sessions and simulated games. Merritt gives Indians manager Terry Francona a second lefty option put of the bullpen along with Andrew Miller, who shut down the Red Sox in two appearances.
Merritt pitched five innings in his first major league start against Kansas City on Sept. 30. He’s gone 13-8 with a 3.79 ERA over the past two seasons at Triple-A Columbus.
Indians starter Danny Salazar remains sidelined with forearm tightness. The club had hoped he might be available for the ALCS, but Francona said the right-hander isn’t quite there.