06/15/11 8:39 PM ET
Brantley not changing approach batting third
By Chris Vannini / MLB.com
But with the Indians struggling to score runs over the past few weeks, manager Manny Acta moved Brantley from the leadoff spot to the No. 3 hole on Monday. Brantley is 1-for-6 in the two games since being moved, and the team has scored one run -- which was scored by Brantley -- entering Wednesday's game. The outfielder said he isn't putting any more pressure on himself being in a position to drive in runs for a struggling offense.
"There's enough pressure in this game already, so you don't need to add any more pressure on yourself," he said. "It's really just trying to keep the even keel and stay ahead of the game, so stay positive and try to do the best you can for your team."
Before Acta moves players in the lineup, he said he talks to them and makes sure they don't change their approach. Brantley is hitting .297 in the leadoff spot in 45 games this year. Despite being in a position to drive in more runs, Acta isn't asking Brantley to change from anything he's done this year.
"I'm not asking Brantley to hit home runs or anything like that," Acta said. "I'm asking him to be Michael Brantley, hit third and explain to him that he's only going to hit third one time the whole game, which is going to be in the first inning. After that, he's just going to roll over.
"Same thing with [shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera], they're not going to change the way they're going to swing or anything like that. It's just that, right now, they're the two best clutch hitters on our club, and we want to make sure we have those guys up when we have guys on bases."
Indians not having much success in Detroit
DETROIT -- Despite the Indians having a 12-10 edge against the Tigers the last two seasons, the series have been quite one-sided -- for the home team.
The Indians are 11-1 against the Tigers at Progressive Field since last season, but they've lost six straight and nine of 10 at Comerica Park in Detroit entering Wednesday's game. The record in Detroit isn't all that surprising, as the Tigers have the second-best home record in the Majors since the start of the 2009 season, but the disparaging records are quite noticeable.
"Everybody just plays better at home," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I love this ballpark. I'm the type of guy that doesn't want to be sitting on the edge of my seat after every pitch. I'd rather have good, old baseball, where guys have to hit the ball out to earn it. You see guys like [Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson] chase balls. I like it. We haven't had much success, but I do like this ballpark."
Indians outfielder Adam Everett has seen it from both sides, as he played for the Tigers from 2009-10. He said the environment the Detroit fans produce is a huge benefit for the home team.
"It's just one of those ballparks that it's tough to come in and win for the simple fact that they're drawing really well," Everett said. "The fans are some of the greatest in all of baseball, and they really get after us."
Acta needs to see more of rookie Phelps
DETROIT -- Indians manager Manny Acta isn't ready to make an assessment on rookie infielder Cord Phelps yet.
Phelps, who was called up to the Majors on June 8, has played in four games entering Wednesday, but has only collected one hit in 14 at-bats.
"It's very early to make a decision and an assessment on the kid," Acta said. "[It's his] first time in the big leagues, he's only played a few games. We have to see him more. He'll play tomorrow."
Phelps was brought up as infielders Orlando Cabrera and Jack Hannahan have struggled at the plate, hitting .242 and .228, respectively.
The 24-year-old Phelps hit .299 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs in 55 games for Triple-A Columbus. But the injection of Phelps hasn't done anything to improve the Indians' offense.
"It's going to take him a little bit of time to make an adjustment up here and to get settled, get his feet wet," Acta said. "Not everybody comes in here and goes 5-for-10 right off the bat. This is a different ballgame, and these guys realize that. There's a reason why guys are down in Triple-A and guys are up here.
"He's going to have to realize that and make the adjustment and go from there. But I can't compare him with the guy I saw in Spring Training.
Hafner feels good after first rehab game
DETROIT -- Designated hitter Travis Hafner went 1-for-2 with a walk in the first game of his rehab assignment in Double-A Akron on Tuesday night.
Indians manager Manny Acta said Hafner felt good and got some treatment and did more baseball activities, such as extra sliding, at Progressive Field on Wednesday, but did not give a date for his return.
"I don't think we're going to make a decision before three games," Acta said. "Hafner's going to play a minimum three games, and then he's going to let us know where he's at."
Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.