CLEVELAND — Provided things go well in a bullpen session today, right-hander Mike Clevinger, who is out with a left ankle sprain, will be activated from the injured list to start the series opener in Baltimore on Friday.
Clevinger’s replacement, right-hander Aaron Civale, who made his major league debut Saturday, was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus. Cleveland recalled reliever Jon Edwards to fill Civale’s roster spot.
“He’s shown that he’s healthy enough,” manager Terry Francona said of Clevinger, who sustained the injury June 17 in his first start back from a two-plus month stint on the IL with an upper-back strain. “That’s why we were able to send Civale back and get Edwards here. He’s doing really well.”
It is Edward’s fourth stint with the Indians. He is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over nine appearances.
Jake Bauers was a late scratch from the lineup after spraining his left ankle while shagging balls in the outfield prior to Monday’s game.
Bauers took batting practice after sustaining the injury, but was replaced in left field by Mike Freeman.
It could be a memorable moment should first baseman Carlos Santana be voted in as a starter in the All-Star Game in his first year back in Cleveland.
Santana finished third in the first round of voting, advancing along with New York’s Luke Voit and Minnesota’s C.J. Cron to the starters vote, which begins Wednesday at noon.
“It would be extremely meaningful,” Francona said. “Not just to me, personally, but to a lot of people. Everything we say here about him is true. We genuinely have a ton of affection for this kid. He shows up every day and all he wants to do is play. He’s got a smile on his face and he’s worked hard to become a better defender — a guy that you want playing first base, a guy that pays attention to the game and picks his teammates up. The fact that the game’s in Cleveland would be really meaningful.”
Santana hit his 17th homer Sunday to pass Rocky Colavito and move into 10th on the Indians’ all-time list with 191, one behind Al Rosen and nine behind Travis Hafner.
Should Santana want to participate in the Home Run Derby, Francona will not stand in his way.
“I think like anything you worry, but these are things that maybe happen once in your career,” Francona said. “It’s a big deal to the fans. You just have to, as a coach or a manager or an owner or a general manager, you have to hold your breath and let the pride win out over the worry. I don’t know how else to do it.”
On a run
With a 14-6 record in June through Sunday, the Indians owned the best winning percentage (.700) in the American League and the third best in the majors.
Still, Francona isn’t ready to say his team has turned a corner.
“I always try to be careful because the season’s fluid,” he said. “The minute you think you’ve got something figured out, you don’t. You’d like to think as you progress into the season you’re going to do better at things. That’s the idea. But our teams here have, for the most part, started just OK. And as we’ve got our footing, we’ve kept it and gotten stronger. That’s a good sign.
“I think once our guys feel OK about themselves, they hold it pretty well. Even when you get newer guys here, the enthusiasm has been infectious. I know we’ve made some mistakes, I know we’re going to make more mistakes.”
Francona said he met with Bobby Bradley for 20 minutes prior to Monday’s game.
“I said, ‘I love the idea of us being young. It’s given us all a little energy. But you have to be open to being critiqued. It’s not because we’re trying to beat you up. It’s actually the opposite,’” Francona said. “We feel really strongly that we don’t want our guys being told to go from point A to point B to C. We want them to play the game, but we want them to play the game the way we think it’s supposed to be played.”
Bradley made his major league debut in Sunday’s 8-3 win over Detroit, collecting his first hit and first RBI in his first at-bat. While playing first base, he received well-wishes from two-time MVP and 11-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera.
“He just congratulated me and we talked a little bit just about baseball and the call up,” Bradley said. “I mean, he’s a great guy. A good guy to talk to.”
According to SABR, catcher Roberto Perez owned a 4.5 defensive index rating, which was tops in the AL through Sunday. Santana’s 2.4 rating was third, while Tyler Naquin’s 2.8 rating was fourth among right fielders.
- Indians notes: Corey Kluber set to undergo MRI, could be throwing by end of the week
- Jason Kipnis home run in 10th inning makes Tribe a walk-off winner over Royals
- Indians Notes: Right-hander Mike Clevinger back on injured list with sprained ankle
- Scary return: Indians starter Mike Clevinger OK after spill in return from IL, but shows rust in loss to Rangers