CLEVELAND -- Given the progress that Lonnie Chisenhall has made in his recovery from a fractured right forearm, the Indians are optimistic that the young third baseman will be back in their lineup before the season ends.
Indians manager Manny Acta indicated on Saturday that Chisenhall is scheduled to advance to hitting on the field for regular batting practice by Monday. The third baseman has already resumed hitting in the indoor cage and has been doing some fielding drills.
"We're happy with the progress he's making," Acta said. "He's recuperating very fast."
Chisenhall, 23, was struck on the forearm by an errant fastball from Orioles pitcher Troy Patton on June 29. The injury required surgery, sidelining Chisenhall just when he was starting to heat up for the Tribe.
Chisenhall hit .278 with three homers and nine RBIs in his 24 games with Cleveland from May 28-June 29, but he had hit .342 (13-for-38) in the 13 games leading up to the injury.
The Indians are hoping to have Chisenhall play in some rehab games before the end of the Minor League season, or at least during the Minor League postseason. Acta said Cleveland could also have him play in some simulated games if his recovery period lasts beyond the Minor League schedule.
"There's no timetable yet," Acta said. "He's got a program set out by our medical staff, and he's going to follow it. He's going to play a couple of games probably down there [in the Minors] before he comes up here."
Acta added that Chisenhall might also play winter ball to get more at-bats.
"He hasn't had enough at-bats this year," Acta said. "Even if he's ready to play two to three weeks here at the end, I think he'd benefit from [winter ball]. It's something that we have discussed with him already."
Indians mull six-man staff when rosters expand
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have not made any final decisions on their pending promotions when rosters expand on Sept. 1, but the ballclub has started to brainstorm about the possibilities.
Tribe manager Manny Acta said on Saturday the team is considering using a six-man rotation over the season's final month.
"There's a chance that we might call up a starter," Acta said. "We're discussing a plan of probably going with a six-man rotation, which will help some of the younger kids and also some of the guys who have been here the whole year, with their innings.
"That's not etched in stone yet, but that's part of the plan if we call up one of the starters."
The current rotation consists of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Roberto Hernandez, Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber.
The top candidates to be called up from Triple-A Columbus after rosters expand to 40 players would seem to be right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and left-hander David Huff. Both are on Cleveland's 40-man roster and have pitched in the big leagues in the past.
Gomez opened the year in the Indians' rotation, but was sent to Triple-A after going 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA. At Columbus, the righty has gone 6-5 with a 4.41 ERA. Huff, who has pitched for the Indians in each of the past three seasons, has gone 6-6 with a 5.05 ERA this season with the Clippers.
Sore legs may be behind Asdrubal's slump
CLEVELAND -- There have been a few occasions over the past couple of weeks when Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has run slowly up the first-base line on outs. It could have been perceived as a lack of hustle.
On Saturday, Indians manager Manny Acta noted that Cabrera has been playing through some leg soreness of late.
"The guy, he toughs it out," Acta said. "He goes out there. This last week, his legs are a little beat up. He's [hit] a ton of foul balls below his knees from both sides of the plate, and at times he was a little beat up.
"But he likes to be out there, and he likes to play. He toughs it out."
Following Friday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees, Acta made a point to mention that the switch-hitting Cabrera has been spending extra time lately working on his swing mechanics from the right side. The manager felt the hard work paid dividends when Cabrera belted a solo home run off New York lefty CC Sabathia in the fourth inning.
Acta expanded on that topic prior to Saturday's tilt at Progressive Field.
Through 115 games this year, Cabrera has hit .279 with 14 home runs, 29 doubles and 53 RBIs. In his last 46 games dating to July 2, though, the shortstop has hit just .249, seeing his average drop 21 points.
Quote to note
"When [former Indians pitching coach] Scott Radinsky got fired, I don't think people understand how personally pitchers or hitters take it. We're the reason why he got fired. If we were doing our job, he'd still be there. I think that's the hardest thing. We're the reason why it happened."
-- Yankees pitcher Derek Lowe, who was released by the Indians on Aug. 10
The Indians currently have seven players with at least 10 home runs this season. That is tied for the second most in the Majors behind the Yankees, who have 10. Cleveland's list includes Shin-Soo Choo (15), Cabrera (14), Carlos Santana (13), Jason Kipnis (12), Shelley Duncan (11), Travis Hafner (11) and Casey Kotchman (11).
Prior to Sunday's game against the Yankees, the Indians will honor Senator John Glenn, an Ohio native and former NASA astronaut, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first space flight. Astronaut Mike Forman will also be on hand to sign autographs in the Indians Kids Clubhouse before the game.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who has spent this season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, will likely begin pitching in games in the Arizona League soon. General manager Chris Antonetti reiterated that the Indians likely won't try to get Carrasco into games with Cleveland before the end of the season.