CLEVELAND -- Center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list over the coming days after receiving stitches to his right index finger.
Bourn, who sustained the injury Sunday on a headfirst slide into first base, was wearing a splint in the clubhouse prior to the series opener with Boston on Tuesday. He emphasized that there was no ligament or tendon damage.
The Indians are likely holding off on placing Bourn on the DL until relief pitcher Matt Albers is ready to return from the Family Medical Emergency List. Albers can remain on the list until Friday, with Cleveland probably wanting to avoid making separate moves for both players.
“We’re keeping all of our options open,” manager Terry Francona said.
In other injury news, second baseman Jason Kipnis (left elbow soreness) missed his third straight game. He took batting practice Tuesday, and could return to the lineup tonight.
“We have to have a little bit of progression,” Francona said. “He’ll take BP (Tuesday), if he’s OK, he’ll play (today). If we need to slow down, we can.”
(bullet) Left-hander Scott Kazmir allowed a run on five hits, while striking out five over five innings of his rehab debut with Triple-A Columbus on Monday. He appears to be on track to make his season debut for Cleveland on Saturday in Houston.
“All the reports were good,” Francona said. “We fully expect him to pitch Saturday for us.”
(bullet) Catcher Carlos Santana (left thumb bruise) returned to the lineup after a four-game absence.
(bullet) Santana’s backup, Lou Marson (neck strain) began a rehab assignment with Columbus on Tuesday.
Comings and goings
With Santana ready to return to fulltime catching duties, the Indians optioned Omir Santos back to Columbus, and recalled infielder Cord Phelps from the Clippers.
Santos appeared in just one game and logged one at-bat. Phelps, who has spent time on the disabled list with a stiff neck, played in just two games for Columbus, batting .125 with a double and an RBI.
Francona is doing his best not to put any serious significance on Boston’s visit to Progressive Field -- the first time he will manage against the Red Sox since a tenure in Boston from 2004-11 that included two World Series titles in 2004 and ’07.
“It’s not just another series, but at the same time, it’s not like I woke up and that’s all I thought about,” he said. “I had a year removed (from managing) and we’re not in Boston. Sometimes it’s time to move on. I’m really happy where I’m at. I think I’m where I belong.
“I’m sure when we go back to Fenway it will bring back a lot of memories and it will be special. But it’s like I said before, it’s not fair to the players for me to have some nostalgia week. Their job is to go out and beat them, and it is them.”
Because they did not play Monday on “Jackie Robinson Day,” players from Cleveland and Boston wore the No. 42 on their jerseys in recognition of baseball’s first black player.
“I think it’s awesome that we embrace it,” Francona said. “I would caution against celebrating the wrong thing. If we’re celebrating treating somebody equal, then we need to get our heads out of our (butts). Hopefully, we’re being respectful of what he accomplished, but also, I hope that we’re recognizing that that was awful.”
Francona was asked whether Indians Hall of Famer Larry Doby, the American League’s first black player, deserved to have his number retired like Robinson’s.
“For a guy that came along right after and probably endured every bit as much, you don’t hear as much about him,” he said. “But that’s the way our society is.”
The 10th annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic will be held next Friday and Saturday at Progressive Field, with local high school teams Elyria Catholic and Avon Lake participating. EC plays Berea on April 26 at 5:30 p.m., while the Shoremen take on St. Ignatius the same night at 8. ... Tonight, 7:05, STO/WMMS 100.7-FM. Masterson (3-0, 0.41) vs. Aceves (0-0, 6.75).
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.