CLEVELAND -- With Carlos Carrasco expected back to be off the disabled list and back in the rotation on Wednesday, the Indians needed to clear a spot on the staff.
Cleveland opted to option right-hander Jeanmar Gomez to Triple-A Columbus, giving prospect Alex White a longer stay in the big leagues. Indians manager Manny Acta was happy with the progress shown by Gomez -- sent down on Monday -- throughout his four-game stint with the Tribe.
"He threw the ball well," Acta said. "He got better the last two outings. The first one [against the Royals on April 19] he struggled a little bit with his mechanics and his velocity wasn't there, because one thing leads to the other one."
Overall, Gomez went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in four appearances (three starts) for the Indians since being recalled to replace injured right-hander Mitch Talbot. On Thursday, Gomez held the A's to one run over 5 1/3 innings -- a showing that impressed Acta.
"We felt that he threw the ball well and that his velocity was back up," Acta said. "He stayed at 91 mph most of the time and did well. I think it's good for us to have a guy like him right now as depth, even when we know he's so young and he's probably more part of the future."
Also a big part of that future is the 22-year-old White, who was promoted from Triple-A after Carrasco landed on the 15-day DL on April 28. White, who is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA through two turns for the Tribe, has a spot on the staff at least until Talbot returns from the DL.
"He's a great competitor," Acta said of White. "He's got a tremendous heartbeat out there for a guy who just got called up, a guy who's just two years out of college. That first game here against Detroit [on April 30] he showed it and then the other day [against the Angels]."
Carrasco ready to return, start Wednesday
CLEVELAND -- The Indians are getting closer to having their Opening Day rotation together again. Carlos Carrasco is back and Mitch Talbot is making progress in his rehab.
Carrasco -- fresh off a rehab outing with Double-A Akron -- was activated from the 15-day disabled list for a start on Wednesday against the Rays. Indians manager Manny Acta said Carrasco has no restrictions after his bout with right elbow inflammation.
"He's good to go," Acta said on Tuesday.
Carrasco opened the season as Cleveland's No. 2 starter, but exited his start against the Twins on April 24 after three innings due to elbow discomfort. On Friday at Akron, the right-hander allowed four runs on four hits over 3 2/3 innings, during which he struck out three and walked three.
For the season, Carrasco is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in five starts for the Tribe.
The Indians optioned right-hander Frank Herrmann to Triple-A Columbus to make roster space for Carrasco. Herrmann was recalled on Tuesday but did not appear in Cleveland's 5-4 win over Tampa Bay.
Talbot, who has been sidelined with a right elbow strain since April 17, made a four-inning rehab start in extended Spring Training on Monday. Acta said Talbot -- the Tribe's fifth starter when the season opened -- logged 63 pitches without complaint at the team's training complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
"It went well," Acta said. "He threw all his pitches with no problems. He's going to come up here to Cleveland to be seen again by [head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff]. We'll take his temperature and then he'll go down there and continue his rehab."
Acta was not sure where Talbot's next rehab appearance would be, but noted that the right-hander will likely need at least two more Minor League outings before rejoining the Major League staff. Talbot went 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts for Cleveland before landing on the 15-day DL.
Acta's focus on team, not place in standings
CLEVELAND -- The Indians entered Tuesday having occupied the top spot in the American League Central for the past 33 days. As the season wears on, it becomes more tempting for a first-place club to monitor the scoreboard.
These days, Tribe manager Manny Acta said everybody checks out the scores, though it is usually unintentional.
"You can't help it, to scoreboard watch," Acta said. "You know why? Because it's in every wall now in the stadiums. Times have changed. Before, they were in just a corner or you had to look in the paper.
"Now, you can't look at the outfielder without seeing behind him that the White Sox have six runs and the other team has five or whatever. You just can't help it."
In-stadium scoreboards aside, Acta feels it is still too early in the season to get caught up in which teams are leading the divisions or to read too much into a player's stats -- good or bad.
"It's kind of early to do that kind of stuff," Acta said. "I'm sorry. I don't even know who's leading the league in hitting right now. To me, it's too early for me to start looking at all that kind of stuff. I concentrate on my team, the team that I'm playing and the matchups."
Acta also insists he is not concerned about what is happening below the Indians in the AL Central standings.
"I'm not paying attention to them," Acta said. "I'm just happy that the Indians are doing good. That's their issue."
Herrmann back to provide bullpen depth
CLEVELAND -- The Indians carried an extra arm for a day. On Tuesday, the club recalled right-handed reliever Frank Herrmann from Triple-A Columbus to provide some extra depth in the bullpen.
Herrmann was sent back to Columbus on Wednesday in order to add starter Carlos Carrasco to the roster. Carrasco is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list after a bout with right elbow inflammation.
Herrmann, who initially opened the season in the Tribe's bullpen, has been through this before.
On April 28, Herrmann was recalled from Triple-A when Carrasco was placed on the disabled list. Two days later, Cleveland purchased the contract of starting prospect Alex White and sent Herrmann back to the Minor Leagues.
This season, Herrmann has an 8.31 ERA in four appearances for the Indians. At Triple-A, the right-hander has posted a 3.38 ERA over seven relief outings. After making the Opening Day roster, Herrmann was originally sent down on April 13 to vacate a bullpen spot for Joe Smith, who had been on the 15-day DL.
The Indians have named Class A Lake County left-hander Mike Rayl the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for May 1-7. During that time period, Rayl struck out 11 in seven shutout innings with one hit allowed in a start against Bowling Green. Rayl carried a no-hitter into the sixth. On the season, Rayl is 4-0 with a 2.29 ERA in seven starts. Rayl was also named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week for his performance.
Infielder Jared Goedert has started a Major League rehab assignment with Double-A Akron. Goedert was placed on the 60-day disabled list on March 30 due to an oblique issue that started in early Spring Training.
On Monday, Triple-A Columbus righty Zach McAllister allowed two earned runs over seven innings to improve to 6-0 with a 3.00 ERA on the season.
The Indians entered Tuesday 13-2 at home, marking the team's best start at home since 1941. In its 111-year history, Cleveland has never opened a campaign with a 14-2 ledger at home.
The Indians entered Tuesday hitting .318 with runners in scoring position. Only the Braves (.326) had a better mark in the Major Leagues.