DETROIT -- Even with the Indians trailing in the American League Central by 16 1/2 games, in no way does manager Manny Acta believe the games in this final month are meaningless.
The Tribe has nine series left in the season, five of which are against teams that entered Monday either in first place or in a tie for first place in their respective divisions -- two three-game sets against the Tigers, one against the Rangers and two against the White Sox. Acta sees that as opportunity.
"For us, it's going to be a good time to evaluate guys, because we're going to be playing a lot of meaningful games," Acta said prior to Monday's game in Detroit. "We're going to be playing, in our schedule, teams that are trying to win their division. So they're not throwing [September] callups against us."
One of those players the organization hopes to get a good read on is 26-year-old Russ Canzler, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus when the rosters expanded on Saturday.
Acta said that Canzler is going to get "plenty" of at-bats going forward, and he was in the lineup batting fifth and serving as the team's designated hitter on Monday.
"He's an interesting guy and we're going to give him an extended look," Acta said. "It's only been two games, but he's showing the ability to have a decent at-bat. He caused a bit of an impression in Spring Training, he tailed of at the end and he just had an OK season in Triple-A ... but we feel he can give us quality at-bats, so we're going to see."
For Canzler, it's not the first time he's been a September callup -- before being traded to the Tribe in January, he was in the Rays organization. However, it is his first time getting consistent at-bats in the Majors.
"I think in my first two games here I have more at-bats and plate appearances than all of September last year," said Canzler, who had three at-bats with Tampa Bay and had more with the Indians in his first game. "It's a good opportunity for me to get some playing time, and that's all you can really ask for. It's just my job to try not to do too much."
Canzler said that "trying to do too much" was his problem in Columbus this season. He knew he had a shot in Spring Training and when he was sent to Columbus, he pressed to repeat last year's success with the Rays -- hitting .314 with 18 home runs and 83 RBIs for Triple-A Durham -- too quickly.
"I put a little bit too much pressure on myself," he said. "I had a pretty good year last year and I think I tried to repeat those numbers in one month. I was definitely guilty of wanting to get back up here as soon as possible. I think that's one thing I learned this year is to not concern myself with the things that are out of my control and just do what I can."
Asdrubal back in lineup on Monday
DETROIT -- After being scratched from Saturday's lineup and missing two games, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was back in the Indians lineup for Monday's Labor Day series opener against the Tigers.
Cabrera had missed the past two games due to a sore right wrist. Manager Manny Acta had said Sunday he expected Cabrera back in Detroit and he received positive news from the trainers on Monday morning, prompting him to put Cabrera back at short and batting third.
"He's fine," Acta said. "We wanted to give him those two days because it was recommended by the medical staff, so he wouldn't make it any worse. But this is what we expected, and he's ready to go."
The 26-year-old entered the game batting .270 on the season with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. However, since the All-Star break, he is batting .242 with only 11 RBIs and three long balls.
Coming into the Labor Day contest, Cabrera was mired in a 2-for-31 slump, but he'll hope to break out of that in the Motor City as he's batting .280 this season with 14 hits and six RBIs against the Tigers -- his second most-hits and RBIs this year against any team.
Maine, Rottino among additional callups
DETROIT -- Indians manager Manny Acta hinted in Monday's morning session with the media that there would be more September callups on the way, but first Triple-A Columbus needed to finish up its season.
The team did that against Toledo on Monday afternoon and following the Indians' 3-2 win over the Tigers, the club announced four more players to be added to the roster.
Left-handers David Huff and Scott Maine will join infielders Cord Phelps and Vinny Rottino in the big leagues starting on Tuesday, bringing the Major League roster to 33 players.
Of all four players, Maine is the only one with legitimate big league experience in 2012. He made 21 relief appearances for the Cubs before being claimed on waivers by the Tribe and he held left-handed hitters to a .130 batting average.
Rottino played in 18 games with the Mets and two with the Indians. He hit .297 with 66 RBIs in his time split between the Indians and Mets Triple-A Minor League affiliates.
Phelps, perhaps, had the best Minor League season of the bunch, as he hit .276 and led the International League in runs, tied for third in doubles, fourth in hits and fifth in walks. Huff went 7-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 24 games for the Clippers.
Acta said the rest of the season will be about giving the organization a good chance to evaluate the younger players, so it's very possible these guys will all see action at some point.
McAllister dealing with growing pains
DETROIT -- It's been a rough month for right-hander Zach McAllister.
The 24-year-old began the season going 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA through July. However, over the past month, his season ERA has jumped by more than a full run and he has four more losses to go with only one win.
For McAllister -- now 5-6 with a 4.26 ERA -- it all culminated in a loss to the Rangers on Sunday. He allowed a career-high 11 hits and a career-high four home runs on his way to giving up seven runs in an 8-3 loss.
Despite being 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA in his last seven games, manager Manny Acta backed his starter and said going through a rough stretch like this is normal for any pitcher or hitter.
"First of all, he's human," Acta said. "We're not on top of our game physically and mentally on an everyday basis, and he didn't have his best stuff in his last outing, especially ... I think everybody has to go through it, and he went through it last year when he came up and learned from it. The best in the business go through it, guys. We're all human."
Acta was asked if the focus has been an issue for the right-hander, and the skipper quickly disposed of that theory.
"I don't think that's the case with him," he said, "He's a very focused kid that really, really takes everything about his job serious when it comes down to preparation. Be it video, physical strength and conditioning, everything. He's just going through a rough spell."
Indians extend contract with Columbus through '16
DETROIT -- The Indians announced a two-year extension of their player development contract with the Columbus Clippers, their Minor League Triple-A affiliate. The contract now extends through the 2016 season.
"We are pleased to extend our relationship with the Columbus Clippers, taking us through the 2016 season," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement. "The Clippers are a first-class organization that provides our players and staff with a Major League-caliber operation and facility. We look forward to continuing this unique opportunity of developing our upper-level prospects in the heart of our regional fanbase."
The Clippers have been a Triple-A affiliate since the ballclub's creation in 1977. The team has been connected to the Pirates (1977-78), Yankees (1979-2006) and Nationals (2007-08) before joining the Indians in 2009 -- the first season Huntington Park opened.
"These first four seasons of being affiliated with the Cleveland Indians in our new ballpark has exceeded expectations," Clippers president/general manager Ken Schnacke said in a statement. "The awards we have won together are a testament to how well we work together, how much our fans appreciate not only Huntington Park, but also our relationship with the Tribe.
"We are very proud to be part of the Cleveland Indians player development system and we take pride in following our players who have 'graduated' from Columbus to Cleveland."
Quote to note
"We'll bring up more guys [from Columbus]. Once the game is over in Toledo today, we're going to add a couple more guys."
-- Manager Manny Acta before Monday's series opener against the Tigers.
• Lonnie Chisenhall (fractured right ulna) made his first rehab start with Triple-A Columbus on Sunday, going 1-for-3 with a single. Chisenhall will finish the regular season with the Clippers on Monday before heading to Double-A Akron to continue rehabbing with them during their postseason. Acta still expects him back before the season ends.
"As soon as he's done with the rehab over there in Akron, he's going to be over here playing," Acta said.
• Reliever Carlos Carrasco, who has been out since undergoing Tommy John surgery last season, will throw a simulated game in Akron on Monday before making a one-inning rehab appearance Wednesday in Akron.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.