CLEVELAND -- When baseball players facetiously encourage teammates to "take one for the team," they're advising the batter to endure the pain from getting hit by a pitch for the reward of a free base. Typically, that sort of jesting is meant for a pitch heading toward a meaty, pain-tolerable portion of the body, such as the thigh. Taking one for the team in the face, however, is no laughing matter.
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall exited Thursday's contest against the Blue Jays after a fastball from right-hander Carlos Villanueva struck the rookie in the cheek during a second-inning at-bat. He left with what the Indians termed a "facial contusion." The ball struck Chisenhall in between his right cheek and his nose. Jack Hannahan replaced him.
"I feel really bad about that," Villanueva said. "Hopefully, I will be able to call over there and talk to him. Hopefully, he's OK. I wasn't even trying to go up and in. I was trying to go in for a strike, and it just flew up a little bit."
Indians manager Manny Acta said Chisenhall would see a specialist at noon Friday and will be reevaluated after that.
"The ball kind of nipped the helmet and hit him in the cheek bone," Acta said. "His eye is swollen."
Chisenhall missed nine games last month while playing for Triple-A Columbus after suffering a concussion on a slide to third base in a game on June 9. Acta said examinations conducted Thursday didn't reveal any indications that Chisenhall had suffered another concussion.
The rookie clubbed the first home run of his career during Wednesday's 5-2 victory against the Yankees. In 30 at-bats, Chisenhall is hitting .267 with two RBIs.
McAllister's stay with Tribe could be brief
CLEVELAND -- The Indians recalled starter Zach McAllister from Triple-A Columbus to make his Major League debut on Thursday, but the right-hander's stay in Cleveland might not last long. Don't look for Cord Phelps, optioned to Columbus to make room for McAllister, to make an immediate return to the big league club, either.
Manager Manny Acta hinted that the team would make another move following Thursday's opener of a four-game set against Toronto, citing a lack of middle infield depth without Phelps. The Indians won't need a fifth starter again until July 18, so Acta said the team would make a move that would bolster the infield in the meantime.
"We'll probably make a move following [Thursday's game]," Acta said. "We're not going to stay with an extra pitcher here when it's not going to be useful."
That extra infielder will likely be Jason Donald or Luis Valbuena, not Phelps, who Acta said needs to benefit from playing every day.
During his time in Cleveland, Phelps shared time at second base with Orlando Cabrera. In 46 at-bats, Phelps hit .196. He hit one home run -- a walk-off shot to beat the Pirates, 5-2, in 11 innings on June 19.
"It really didn't help him that he wasn't playing every day," Acta said. "This is a kid that has played every day since the day we drafted him."
The only reserve infielder on the Indians' roster is Jack Hannahan, who was the team's primary third baseman before the Tribe called up rookie Lonnie Chisenhall. Acta said Hannahan can play all four infield positions.
Lineup shuffles have kept Acta busy
CLEVELAND -- Manny Acta has had to mix and match so many different batting orders, it wouldn't be surprising if he took a few aspirin each day while filling out the lineup card. Losing key sluggers to injury can certainly give a manager headaches.
For periods of time this season, the Indians have been without right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, center fielder Grady Sizemore and designated hitter Travis Hafner. The latter two have returned from stints on the 15-day disabled list, but Choo could be sidelined until late August after undergoing surgery on his broken left thumb.
With Choo on the mend, Acta has implemented a middle of the order that is composed of Hafner, catcher Carlos Santana and Sizemore.
"Without Choo, that's our most ideal lineup," Acta said. "I always believe in having my best hitter in the lineup hitting third, so he can hit in the very first inning. If you go 1-2-3, he's not leading off in the next inning with nobody on. Right now, our best hitter is Travis Hafner, and with Carlos in the middle of him and Grady, we can split the lefties. I feel that's the best we've got right now."
Injuries are one thing. What made matters worse for Acta was the team's recent nine-game Interleague road trip. Hafner hasn't played the field since June 24, 2007, so he was limited to pinch-hit duty.
"He's such a big part of our lineup," Acta said, "so we're very happy to be able to put him out there every day."
Acta likes what he sees from rested Cabrera
CLEVELAND -- Manager Manny Acta insists that Orlando Cabrera's recent batting surge has nothing to do with Cord Phelps stealing some of his playing time. The Indians better hope that's the case, since Phelps' demotion to Triple-A Columbus on Thursday means Cabrera has second base to himself for the time being.
In his past nine games, Cabrera is batting .400 (14-for-35) with six runs scored, raising his average from .239 to .259.
"I don't think the Phelps situation changed how he went about his business," Acta said. "He's been around long enough."
Acta said Cabrera's increased production is likely a result of the rest he enjoyed while Phelps played, not the heightened pressure to perform.
"I don't think Orlando needs that type of spark to do what he's doing," Acta said. "I felt that he'd benefit from not playing every day, because he was really playing every single game, every single inning at the beginning. That kind of helped him a little bit to get a breather."
Indians manager Manny Acta said starter Fausto Carmona, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps, played catch on Thursday. Following the All-Star break, Carmona (4-10, 5.78 ERA) will slide into the back end of the team's rotation, allowing him more time to recover.
The Indians announced the signing of Will Roberts, the club's fifth-round pick in June's First-Year Player Draft. A right-handed pitcher from the University of Virginia, Roberts posted an 11-2 record and 1.79 ERA during his junior season. The organization also agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Will Kransne, a non-drafted free agent from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.
In his past three starts, Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson has allowed just one earned run in 22 2/3 innings (0.40 ERA).
Zack Meisel is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.