BOSTON -- Ask around the Indians' clubhouse about whether or not Asdrubal Cabrera's sudden power burst this year has surprised anyone, and the answers are mixed.
But for Cabrera, his new approach at the plate didn't happen by accident.
Cabrera was taking batting practice in Spring Training when newcomer Orlando Cabrera noticed something.
"He saw my swing and said, 'Hey, you have really good pop. Sometimes you should try to hit a home run, and I'm sure you're going to hit 15 or more homers,'" Asdrubal said. "And that's what I'm doing right now. It helped me a lot."
"He has changed his approach a little bit," noticed manager Manny Acta. "He started in Spring Training, picking counts in situations and letting it go, and not just trying to go for the singles all the time. He's still maturing as a hitter. He's only 25 years old. He's just now starting to be at his peak."
Cabrera entered this year with 18 career home runs over parts of four seasons, but his two homers in Monday night's series opener pushed his season total to 19, easily surpassing his former career high of six.
Count Acta as someone who didn't see it coming.
"Even this year in Spring Training, seeing him healthier than last year, we felt that he could be a double-digit guy, but never anticipated him hitting over 20 homers," Acta said. "So he's surprising a lot of people."
While Cabrera's rise in power has put him on pace for a new career high in strikeouts, his batting average hasn't taken a hit. His .293 mark heading into Tuesday's game with the Red Sox is the second highest of his career.
"It's impressive to watch him take BP," said Travis Hafner. "I think he always concerned himself with trying to hit for a high average. I think this year, he's tried to hit for power more often."
Acta fine with Ubaldo's final Rockies start
BOSTON -- Indians manager Manny Acta thinks too much has been made about new pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez's final start with the Rockies.
Jimenez was allowed to start Saturday's game, despite a pending trade to the Indians on the table, and then removed after a 45-pitch first inning when the deal became official.
"If he hadn't started [Saturday], he would have started one of these games [in Boston] for sure," Acta said. "I'm not going to go out on a limb and say that cost us two or three starts. I think a lot of people that are making all the assumptions are really miscalculating how many starts he's going to have for us."
Acta said Jimenez will be on a regular schedule, starting every fifth day for the Indians after Friday. The 27-year-old right-hander is scheduled to join the Indians in Boston on Wednesday.
"I've heard nothing but good things about him," said Travis Hafner. "He's obviously very talented and a top of the rotation starter, so any team would love to have him in there."
Carrasco may drop appeal after start
BOSTON -- While Carlos Carrasco is appealing a six-game suspension handed down from the league after throwing over the head of Billy Butler in Friday's game against the Royals, manager Manny Acta said there's a good chance he'd drop the appeal after Wednesday.
Carrasco is scheduled to start Wednesday's game in Fenway Park against the Red Sox, and with Ubaldo Jimenez joining the team, it allows Acta some flexibility should Carrasco choose to drop the appeal and start serving the suspension immediately.
"I think we're probably leaning toward him dropping the appeal after he pitches, and serving it, and just adjusting the rotation after the day off [on Monday]," Acta said. "But that's in Carrasco's hands.
"[Jimenez] kind of helps. An extra guy. And the day off we have after playing Texas, that helps the most."
Kosuke Fukudome entered his fifth game with the Indians on Tuesday night hitting .143 (2-for-14), but manager Manny Acta said he's been pleased with his new right fielder.
"He's doing what we're expecting out of him," Acta said. "He's played great defense, as expected, back there and he's given us the at-bats we're looking for."
With rain delaying the start of Tuesday's game nearly two hours, Acta said his bullpen is well-rested should the game suffer a mid-game delay that forces starter David Huff out of the game early.
After Chris Perez allowed a run for his fourth time in six games on Monday night, Acta defended his closer.
"I don't think I can blame Chris for yesterday," he said. "He made pitches, struck out the first two guys. He threw the ball well."
Jason Kipnis got his fifth start out of the No. 2 spot in the batting order on Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 with a homer and is hitting .280 with three home runs in five games batting second.
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.