Acta preaches patience for young team
Manager more frustrated by slow drivers than slow start
MINNEAPOLIS -- The ineffectiveness of the Indians' offense hasn't frustrated manager Manny Acta.Nothing in baseball frustrates him, in fact. "Baseball disappoints me; it doesn't frustrate me," Acta said Thursday. "Violent people, negative people, sarcastic people, slow drivers in the left lane and disrespectful people frustrate me. Not baseball." The Indians have given Acta plenty to be frustrated about, if he were so inclined. They entered the series finale against the Twins with the worst batting average (.215), slugging percentage (.334) and on-base percentage (.300) in the American League. But Acta has expressed nothing but patience and belief in the bats. "Patience plus self-control leads to success," Acta said. "You have to be patient, because you know things will balance out. Grady Sizemore won't hit .220 [for the season], Travis Hafner won't hit what he's hitting, six guys won't be hitting a buck-eighty. You have to be patient. It's part of coaching, especially when you're dealing with young people." Not long after Acta uttered those words, the Indians rewarded his patience with a strong showing against Twins right-hander Scott Baker.
Concern raised about fouls at Target Field
MINNEAPOLIS -- Manny Acta, like just about everybody who has passed through the gates of Target Field, has basked in the beauty of the Twins' new home.But Acta did offer one critique of the new digs. He is quite a bit concerned about the proximity of home plate to the on-deck circle and the dugouts. "It's very close and could be dangerous," Acta said. Noting that he's "not an architect," Acta declined to share his thoughts on how to fix the issue. But he said he fears a potential situation similar to what happened to Cardinals outfielder Juan Encarnacion in 2007. Encarnacion was struck in the eye by a foul ball, prematurely ending his career. Acta said even those in the dugout are in danger. "I'm so close to my catcher, I feel like I can just yell out, 'Pitch out!' or 'Throw over!'" he said.
Day off for Peralta was scheduled
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jhonny Peralta was not in the Tribe's lineup Thursday. But that wasn't another message-sending tactic on the part of manager Manny Acta, who had dropped Peralta to the No. 7 spot of the lineup Wednesday.If anything, Acta was encouraged by what he saw from Peralta on Wednesday, when the third baseman went 2-for-3 with a walk in the 6-0 loss to the Twins. "We had a talk before the game about getting a better foundation underneath with this legs, using his legs a little more," Acta said. "He took some breaking balls [from Francisco Liriano] that a couple days ago he would have gone headfirst over. He laid off some decent breaking balls." Peralta's day off Thursday was considered a normal one for the day game after the night game, as Acta wanted to give Andy Marte a chance to get some at-bats. Acta was rewarded when Marte cranked out a two-run homer off Scott Baker in the fourth. Peralta, meanwhile, is batting just .140 with a .552 OPS for the season.
Thursday's start in left field was Matt LaPorta's first outfield appearance of the season. ... The Indians entered Thursday having lost 21 of their previous 23 road games, dating back to Aug. 30, 2009. The Tribe lost a club-record 16 straight road games from Aug. 30, 2009, through April 5 of this year. ... The Indians will hold Faith and Family Day at Progressive Field on May 8. Players such as Jake Westbrook, Justin Masterson and LaPorta will give postgame testimonials, and Christian recording group Newsboys will perform. All church groups and families can get 50 percent off tickets for the game against the Tigers. For information, visit indians.com/faithday. ... For more Indians news and notes, visit the CastroTurf blog at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.