CLEVELAND -- Vinnie Pestano has been one of the best setup pitchers in baseball this season. He had a 1.97 ERA in 34 appearances entering Monday, and he allowed only one earned run in 9 1/3 innings in June.
"He's pitched like an All-Star," manager Manny Acta said.
Still, Pestano's name wasn't included when the All-Star rosters were released Sunday. His teammate, closer Chris Perez, was one of four American League relievers selected, along with Texas' Joe Nathan, Baltimore's Jim Johnson and Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney. All four players are closers.
Pestano spoke highly of the pitchers that were chosen, but he felt he deserved to be on the roster.
"My whole life, I've been kind of looked over, kind of brushed to the side," Pestano said. "[Setup men] don't get a whole lot of love. Until setup guys get seen as a vital part of the team, then that's just the way it's gonna be. It's just the way baseball is. What are you gonna do?"
Perez already sees setup guys as a vital part of the team. He knows that without Pestano he wouldn't have made the All-Star roster. If Pestano didn't do his job in the eighth inning, Perez would never get a chance to do his in the ninth.
"All the stars have to align for the setup guys to make it," said Perez, who entered Monday tied for the AL lead with 23 saves. "Whereas closers, we make it because we get saves or whatever. At the same time, I worked to get to this spot, to be the closer. It wasn't just given to me. I was a setup guy for a couple years.
"I think he knows how much I appreciate him being in front of me. I think we're a really good one-two combo."
Tribe hopeful Hafner can return on current homestand
CLEVELAND -- Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee injury, was scheduled to resume his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Monday night at Toledo after Sunday's game was rained out. Indians manager Manny Acta said the team will see how Hafner feels after the game before making a decision on when he will return to Cleveland.
Hafner went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly for Columbus on Saturday.
"The rainout last night slowed down his rehab a little bit," Acta said Monday. "We're anticipating we're going to activate him on this homestand. I just can't sit here and tell you [it'll be] tomorrow, or the day after. He's got to go through today's game.
"It's a matter of how he feels. He knows his body very well. It's a good homestand with a bunch of right-handers that we're going to be facing, but it comes down to how he feels."
Hafner hasn't played since May 23, and he had arthroscopic knee surgery on May 31. He's hitting .242 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 39 games this season.
The Indians have a couple of options if Hafner is ready to return this week. They could go the typical route and send a player down to the Minors, or they could place outfielder Shelley Duncan on the paternity list for a few days. Duncan's wife is in the hospital and is ready to go into labor any day now. The couple is expecting twin boys.
Kipnis remains mum on All-Star team absence
CLEVELAND -- Like he does on many days, second baseman Jason Kipnis walked through the Indians' clubhouse Monday afternoon wearing the blue All-Star shirt every player was given several weeks ago.
"I wear this before every game," he said. "It's a comfy shirt."
But unlike the other days Kipnis wore the shirt, he did so this time with the knowledge he would not get to play in next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City. Despite solid numbers, Kipnis' name was not included when the rosters were announced Sunday.
The Yankees' Robinson Cano and Rangers' Ian Kinsler will represent the AL at second base.
When asked if he was disappointed he didn't make it, Kipnis declined to answer.
"I'm gonna leave that one alone," he said.
Entering Monday, Kipnis led all AL second basemen in RBIs (47) and stolen bases (20), and was second in home runs (11). His batting average (.275) fell one point behind Kinsler's.
"He has the numbers to be in the All-Star Game," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "It's easy to be biased because we see him on an everyday basis and we want him to be in there bad. But if you look around the league, there are some guys that they must also feel like they've been snubbed.
"He's gonna have an opportunity again because he's gonna be good for years to come."
Quote to note
"I'm very proud. Those guys have been studs for us and came up huge all year. They've been doing their jobs, and I'm glad they got recognized for it."
--Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, on teammates Chris Perez and Asdrubal Cabrera being selected to next week's All-Star Game.
Catcher Carlos Santana (back, side) returned to the lineup Monday after missing all four games at Baltimore. Santana started at catcher and batted fifth against the Angels.
"The back is good," Santana said. "I expect to play every day. I expected to play [Sunday], but [manager Manny Acta] wanted to be sure that everything is perfect."
Thomas Neal, an outfielder at Double-A Akron, was named the Eastern League Player of the Week on Monday. Neal was 14-for-28 (.500) with six doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs last week.
Duncan and Aaron Cunningham contributed home runs in the Indians' 6-2 win at Baltimore on Sunday, the first time all season the Indians have hit multiple right-handed homers in the same game. The last time Cleveland had multiple long balls by right-handed hitters was Sept. 19, 2011, when switch-hitters Santana and Cabrera homered from the right side against Seattle.
The Indians signed 16-year-old Venezuelan catcher Yoiber Marquina and Dominican catcher Francisco Mejiaon Monday, according to Baseball America's Ben Badler. Nikkan Sports in Japan reported that the Tribe also signed Naoki Hashimoto. No position was immediately available on him.
Monday was the first day teams could sign international free agents, with each team getting a $2.9 million allotment.
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.