MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians have been able to stay in the thick of the American League Central race despite a rash of injuries to critical players.
But those players appear to be moving closer to returning to the lineup.
Starting pitcher Justin Masterson, an All-Star and 14-game winner last season, has been bothered by a knee injury this year. It has limited his effectiveness even when he has been available to pitch. The Indians finally gave the big righty time to rest and, after one more scheduled rehab start in Triple-A, he could be ready to rejoin the rotation.
"I think he probably wanted to come back and pitch," manager Terry Francona said. "But I think we all thought one more start would be beneficial."
With Masterson out of the rotation for one more start, Francona said he wasn't sure who would fill the hole.
Right-hander Danny Salazar came up from Triple-A Columbus to start Tuesday in Cleveland's 8-2 win over Minnesota.
"Salazar, (Trevor) Bauer, (Corey) Kluber, (Josh) Tomlin and then we need a starter," Francona said.
Likewise, center fielder Michael Bourne is also closer to returning to full strength. Bourne was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 6, and, although an MRI showed the injury was more serious than initially believed, Bourne is with the Indians in the Twin Cities so he can begin working out with trainers.
"He's going to start doing land-based stuff, so that's why he's here. He's been working with the trainers," Francona said. "We'll see how he progresses, and at some point we'll get him out to go play some (rehab) games. But that's probably a little ways down the road."
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Indians (RHP Trevor Bauer, 4-4, 3.89 ERA) at Twins (RHP Anthony Swarzak, 1-0, 4.34 ERA)
--RHP Danny Salazar was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and was the winning pitcher, tossing five innings of one-run ball to improve to 2-4. "Besides those walks, he actually threw a lot of strikes," manager Terry Francona said. "I think that kind of skewed it a little bit, put him in position for a tough inning. But when he did run into trouble, I thought he really reached back for his best stuff." Cleveland optioned RHP C.C. Lee back to Columbus to make room on the 25-man roster.
--RHP C.C. Lee was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus to make room on the 25-man roster for RHP Danny Salazar. Lee was recalled from Columbus on Friday to bolster the bullpen. In 15 games, he has a 4.26 ERA, 13 strikeouts and four walks in 12 2/3 innings. Lee is 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA at Columbus.
--SS Asdrubal Cabrera was still suffering from the effects of lower-back spasms that caused him to be removed from the game Monday and was unavailable Tuesday. He is unlikely to play the afternoon game Wednesday and Francona classified Cabrera as day-to-day.
--DH Nick Swisher went 3-for-4 Tuesday, his first three-hit game of the season. In nine games against Minnesota this year, Swisher has multiple hits in four games and has gone hitless in the five others. Three of his last five games at Target Field have been multi-hit efforts.
--1B Carlos Santana hit his 15th homer of the season -- a solo home run in the fifth inning. It was one of four hits in the game for Santana, who came a triple short of his first career cycle. The four-hit night was his second of the season (June 24 against Arizona) and the fourth of his career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The kid has got super light tower power. It's nothing we haven't seen before. When he gets a ball up in the air to that pull side, there ain't no stopping that ball." -- DH Nick Swisher on the four-hit performance and solo home run of teammate Carlos Santana in an 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
--SS Asdrubal Cabrera (lower back spasms) left the July 21 game, and he didn't play July 22. He is day-to-day.
--RHP Justin Masterson (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list July 8. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on July 20, and he will start for Columbus again July 25. He could return to the Indians' rotation after that.
--CF Michael Bourn (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list July 6. An MRI revealed the injury was more serious than originally thought. Bourne joined the Indians in the Twin Cities on July 22 so he can begin working out with trainers. Manager Terry Francona said rehab games are "probably a little ways down the road."
--OF Nyjer Morgan (sprained right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 15, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 22. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage.
--DH Jason Giambi (left knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list June 12, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 12.
RHP Corey Kluber
RHP Josh Tomlin
RHP Trevor Bauer
LHP T.J. House
RHP Danny Salazar
RHP Cody Allen (closer)
RHP John Axford
RHP Scott Atchison
LHP Marc Rzepczynski
RHP Bryan Shaw
RHP Carlos Carrasco
LHP Kyle Crockett
LHP Nick Hagadone
1B Carlos Santana
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
DH Nick Swisher
INF/OF Mike Aviles
LF Ryan Raburn
CF Michael Brantley
RF David Murphy
OF Chris Dickerson
- Sports & Recreation
- Terry Francona
- Danny Salazar
- Justin Masterson
- Asdrubal Cabrera
- Michael Bourne
- Nick Swisher
- Carlos Santana