TORONTO -- Backup catcher Lou Marson started behind the plate for Friday's series opener against the Blue Jays, and batted seventh -- only the second time this season he has started a game that high in the order.
Indians manager Manny Acta said not to read into the move, as he wanted to get both Marson and switch-hitter Carlos Santana, who got the start at first, in the lineup against Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero.
As for the right-handed-hitting Marson batting that high in the order, it was simply to breakup lefties Michael Brantley and Johnny Damon.
"He [Marson] has swung the bat well against left-handed pitching, that's what he has done throughout his career," Acta said. "He's swinging well right now."
Marson has continued to swing a hot bat in July, after his best month of the season in June.
Over 47 at-bats in 14 games in June, Marson hit .383 with a 1.005 OPS, with five extra-base hits and four RBIs. While he has only 10 at-bats in July, the 26-year-old is hitting .400 with three RBIs.
Marson, who is in his fifth big league season, is batting .297 on the year, with a .398 on-base percentage and .805 OPS, all of which would be career-high marks.
Rogers finding success with Indians
TORONTO -- Perhaps all right-hander Esmil Rogers needed was a change of scenery. That's how Indians manager Manny Acta sees it.
Rogers has been a different pitcher since the Indians acquired him from the Rockies in June, and the flamethrower has caught the eye of his skipper as a result.
Since the June 13 deal that saw Rogers come over to the American League, the 26-year-old has thrown 13 1/3 innings over 11 appearances and sports a 2.03 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, and has fanned 18 batters while walking just one.
It is a stark contrast to the numbers Rogers put up with the Rockies, where he posted an 8.06 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, and had 29 strikeouts against 18 walks over 25 2/3 innings.
"He hasn't been walking guys, has been attacking the strike zone, and has pitched well for us," Acta said. "Our confidence in him is growing. When you have that type of arm and you pitch ahead, it's a matter of time before the numbers go in your favor."
According to Fangraphs.com, Rogers' average fastball has been 96.1 mph this season, which is good enough to place him in the top 15 among all relievers.
His 10.85 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest mark of his career, and that ability to generate strikeouts has helped him hold batters to a .149 average since joining the Tribe.
Acta said no mechanical changes have led to Rogers' success with Cleveland, and had no answers as to why Rogers has blossomed since the trade. Maybe Rogers just needed to get out of Coors Field in Colorado, where he has an 8.15 lifetime ERA.
"Whatever the reason has been, weight off his shoulder, I don't know," Acta said. "This guy has a big arm."
Indians sign four Draft picks at deadline
TORONTO -- The Indians signed three more Draft picks before Friday's deadline, including fourth-round outfielder D'Vone McClure out of Jacksonville High School in Arkansas.
McClure, a center fielder, was named a second-team high school all-American and first-team all-Southeast region selection by Rawlings. He was also named to the 2012 Louisville Slugger preseason high school all-America team.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder hit .412 with one homer, 12 doubles, 15 RBIs, 26 steals and 28 runs scored during his senior season at Jacksonville, after leading it to the Arkansas state baseball title as a junior.
Cleveland also signed eighth-round pick Caleb Hamrick, a right-hander out of Cedar Hill High School in Texas.
Hamrick was named to the all-district team four times and was the district MVP in 2010.
The Indians were able to come to terms with Logan Vick, the team's 11th-round selection out of Baylor University. Vick hit .345 with four homers and 43 RBIs in 2012.
Cleveland signed 26 of its 40 Draft selections, including 21 of its top 24 picks and each selection from the first 10 rounds.
Left-hander Rafael Perez, on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left lat muscle, will throw one inning Saturday in a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron.
"We don't have a specific amount of outings, but five would probably be ideal for us to make a good judgment on him," Acta said.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.