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Indians recall Francisco Mejia

The Indians are bringing baseball’s top catching prospect to the majors.

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds Photo by Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians have recalled catcher Francisco Mejia from Triple-A Columbus, per a club announcement Monday afternoon:

Mejia, 22, is ranked as the Indians’ top prospect, the top catching prospect in baseball, and the No. 11 prospect across the league by MLB Pipeline. Though Mejia is a .284/.340/.434 career hitter in the minor leagues, he’s struggled this year in his first Triple-A campaign, posting a .214/.271/.333 slash line with four homers in 214 plate appearances. One possible explanation for Mejia’s struggles is that he’s moved across the field more than ever before — presumably so the Indians can justify carrying him along with incumbent catchers Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes for a prolonged period later this season — as he’s started 27 games behind the plate, played 16 games (14 starts) in left field, and started one game in right field. With that said, Mejia didn’t exactly light the world on fire during his first taste of big-league action last September, either, posting a .154/.214/.154 slash line over 14 plate appearances.

Mejia’s stay in the big leagues may be a short one, as the Indians are in need of temporary catching depth after Perez was hit on the right hand by a 94 mph fastball in Sunday’s victory over the Tigers. With the demotion of reliever Evan Marshall, who was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Mejia, Cleveland has just 11 pitchers on the big-league roster, so they’ll almost certainly have to make another transaction to get their pitching staff back to full strength in the coming days.