Branyan's return getting closer
First baseman recovering from lower back injury
CLEVELAND -- Russell Branyan moved into his locker at Progressive Field on Thursday morning, the first sign that he's nearing his readiness to join the Indians and come off the 15-day disabled list.But first, Branyan, recovering from a lower back injury, still has some strides to make on the rehab front. His Minor League stint will move from Triple-A Columbus to Double-A Akron on Friday, so that he can remain close to Cleveland when the Clippers hit the road. Branyan was 4-for-14 with two doubles and an RBI in four games with Columbus. But he has yet to play on consecutive days. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Branyan will play back-to-back days next week. Also on the rehab front, closer Kerry Wood, who is on the DL with a strained back muscle, threw a 27-pitch bullpen session before Thursday's game and felt fine. Pitching coach Tim Belcher said the Indians were still determining whether Wood will go out on a Minor League rehab assignment or just complete simulated sessions before rejoining the Tribe. "In the next four or five days, he'll face live hitters," Belcher said.
Peralta gets backing despite errors
CLEVELAND -- Two errors by third baseman Jhonny Peralta have cost the Indians a total of five runs and, you could argue, two games in the early going of the 2010 season.So, yeah, you could say the first full season of the Peralta-at-third arrangement is not going so well. But Peralta doesn't blame the move from shortstop to third base -- and the longer throw to first that the move entails -- for the two costly throwing errors he's made thus far. "I don't want to make any excuses," he said. "I don't try to make that the reason why I've made errors." Peralta moved to third base last May. The knock on him as a shortstop was his limited range, and the bulk of the errors he committed at his old position were of the fielding variety. His arm was considered strong and accurate. But Peralta's inaccuracy at third cost the Indians three runs in a 5-2 loss to the Tigers last Friday and two runs in the 6-2 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday. Peralta was out of Thursday's lineup because of the quick turnaround with the 12:05 ET first pitch, but manager Manny Acta has expressed confidence in Peralta's defense and said he stands by him. "He told me he has confidence in me," Peralta said of Acta. "Right now, two errors have cost us the game, but we have lots of games to go."
CLEVELAND -- Corbin Bernsen, co-star of the movie "Major League," will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game. Bernsen is currently working in Akron, directing "25 Hill," a movie about Akron's Soap Box Derby. ... Saturday's game against the White Sox will be broadcast on WMMS 100.7 FM instead of WTAM 1100 because of a conflict with the Cavaliers' playoff schedule. ... Shin-Soo Choo entered Thursday's game having reached safely in 10 of his last 13 plate appearances. ... Class A Lake County beat Lansing on Wednesday night to remain the only unbeaten team in the Minors, with a 7-0 record. The hero in Wednesday's win was outfielder Bo Greenwell, son of former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to improve his average to .440 (11-for-25). ... All fans attending the Cavaliers' playoff game against the Bulls next door at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday are encouraged to use their NBA tickets to get into the Tribe's game against the White Sox. Upon the conclusion of the game, fans with tickets to that game can gain entry into Progressive Field for the Tribe's 4:10 p.m. ET game for $5. Cash transactions should be made at the Indians tents at Gate A on Gateway Plaza.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.