CLEVELAND -- Technically, Chris Antonetti won't become Cleveland's next general manager until Nov. 1, when he ascends from his current assistant post and Mark Shapiro becomes team president.But Antonetti has already assumed the bulk of the GM responsibilities in the wake of the Trade Deadline. That was evident Tuesday, when it was Antonetti, not Shapiro, fielding questions from reporters about the state and direction of the team before the series opener against the A's. With the Indians 24 games under .500 in this rebuilding season, Antonetti knows he has his work cut out for him. "I'm excited by the opportunity and the challenge," Antonetti said. "I'm confident we have the people and the plan to be successful." But Antonetti is still sorting through the plans for his first offseason at the helm. The Indians have the lowest average attendance (17,827) in baseball, so it remains to be seen how much money they'll invest into player payroll to augment one of the game's young rosters. "That's something we'll work through in the offseason," Antonetti said. "Right now, we're trying to assess what positions we feel good about and what positions we need to supplement." As far as his own responsibilities are concerned, Antonetti said his shift in roles has been "more incremental than monumental." Over the past three years, Shapiro has been handing off more and more of the GM responsibilities to Antonetti as a means to prepare him for the inevitable transition.
Brantley expects lineup return Wednesday
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's Michael Brantley is a rookie, but he's a veteran when it comes to ankle issues.Brantley dealt with injuries with his right ankle in the Minors in 2008 and 2009. So when he sprained his left ankle Thursday night in Kansas City, he knew how to treat it. "You have to make sure you ice it and elevate it in your sleep," Brantley said. "You can't try to do too much too fast too early." Brantley had an MRI Friday that did not reveal any structural damage, but he has been out of the lineup the past four games, including Tuesday's series opener with the A's. But after fully participating in pregame workouts Tuesday, Brantley expects to be back in the lineup Wednesday. "That's how it's looking," Brantley said. Brantley injured the ankle during his ninth-inning at-bat Thursday. He grounded to short and fell to the ground in the batter's box. "My ankle rolled, and I heard a pop in the back," Brantley said. "But all the tests came back negative, so hopefully I'm ready to go."
Carrasco to get look in rotation upon callup
CLEVELAND -- There won't be a great deal of intrigue when it comes to Cleveland's September callups. Injuries and trades have given this season a September kind of feel.But Carlos Carrasco is coming up from Triple-A Columbus, for sure. And when he does, he'll likely assume some of Justin Masterson's innings, as the Indians try to limit Masterson's workload down the stretch. It's possible Masterson will finish the year in the bullpen to keep his innings total in check after the conversion from relief to starting duties last year. Regardless of how it shakes out specifically, manager Manny Acta has made it clear that getting a good look at Carrasco before year's end is a priority for a Tribe team that has little set in stone with regard to the 2011 rotation. And had Carrasco not suffered a forearm injury in late July, he probably would have been here by now. Over his past three Columbus starts, Carrasco is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA. "He's pitched extremely well since he came back," Acta said. "Even before he had that little forearm thing, he was lights out down there. And it's good to see, because he could have been here if he wasn't hurt. It's nice to see it hasn't affected him. He's gone about his business and continued to pitch well." As far as the rest of the callups are concerned, the Indians will boost their bullpen with a few arms. Jensen Lewis figures to make his return at that point. From a position-player standpoint, Jordan Brown is a distinct possibility to rejoin the club. Jared Goedert might be on the outside looking in, depending on how the Indians feel about their third-base alignment. With Columbus vying for a playoff berth, the Indians will do their promotions in two waves -- one at the start of the month and one after Columbus' season ends. "We're not going to try to upset what's going on over there if it's not a guy that's a priority to come over here and make an impact right away," said Acta. But Carrasco, more than anybody, appears to be a priority promotion.
Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said Grady Sizemore (left knee microfracture surgery) has not had any setbacks since his June 4 surgery and is still expected to be 100 percent by Opening Day. Sizemore is off crutches and has transitioned his rehab work to the Indians' facility in Goodyear, Ariz., near his Scottsdale home. ... Left-hander Aaron Laffey had his Minor League rehab assignment transferred to Triple-A Columbus. Laffey (left shoulder fatigue) worked one inning at Class A Lake County and one at Double-A Akron. ... Left-hander Tony Sipp has allowed 16.7 percent (six of 36) of inherited runners score, the lowest percentage among American League qualifiers.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.