07/23/11 11:00 PM ET
Kipnis, O. Cabrera to share time at second
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
Indians manager Manny Acta will parcel out the playing time at second base, and he'll do so on a day-by-day basis, without any pattern or long-term strategy in mind.
Acta made that apparent when he penciled Kipnis' name in Friday's lineup against White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd, but planned to sit the rookie against righty Edwin Jackson in Saturday's scheduled contest, which was rained out.
"[I'll decide by] mostly matchups and stuff," Acta said.
Some thought the promotion of Kipnis would boost an outfield ravaged by injuries. But even without the services of Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo, both on the 15-day disabled list, Kipnis, a converted outfielder, will remain in the infield for now.
"It's a possibility down the road," Acta said. "But it would be unfair to him because he hasn't played in the outfield for a while, and we're not going to throw him out there just like that."
Only because of the team's plethora of outfield injuries would the Indians consider letting Kipnis roam the outfield, Acta said. The rookie hasn't played the outfield since he was at Class A Mahoning Valley in 2009.
"That's not the plan," Acta said. "It's just the circumstances that we're in right now. Since that's his original position, it makes it easier for us."
In the end, Acta doesn't anticipate any problems with finding playing time for Kipnis and Cabrera.
"It'll work itself out," Acta said. "It always does."
Brantley slowed by heat exhaustion
CLEVELAND -- Indians outfielder Michael Brantley wanted to play, but he couldn't eat or drink, let alone log nine innings Tuesday and Wednesday in Minnesota.
As a result of heat exhaustion, Brantley couldn't keep food down, lacked energy and lost weight. He was given intravenous fluids throughout the day Monday, when he played both games of a doubleheader.
"It was terrible," Brantley said. "I really couldn't keep fluids down or food down. Everything I ate or drank came right back up. When you're doing that, you don't really have much energy and it's really hard to play like that, so we just thought it was best to take a couple steps back and rest."
The mercury in the Minneapolis thermometers consistently touched the upper-90s during the week, proving to be too much even for Brantley, who attended high school in Fort Pierce, Fla. The heat took a toll on Brantley at a time when the outfielder was scorching at the plate. He was batting .412 (21-for-51) in 11 games before becoming ill.
"I had never had anything like that," Brantley said. "I've been in a lot of hot situations, but that was something different. ... It took a lot out of me."
Brantley returned to the lineup Friday, though he said Saturday he still wasn't 100 percent. After watching Brantley turn in a 1-for-4 performance in Friday's 3-0 loss to the White Sox, manager Manny Acta thought otherwise.
"He looked well," Acta said. "He swung the bat good, too. ... He's at full strength I believe."
Chisenhall finding comfort zone in batter's box
CLEVELAND -- Nearly two weeks later, Lonnie Chisenhall is still reminded every day of the fastball that struck his face. Each time he looks into the mirror, his right eye, the colored part drowning in a sea of red, stares back at him.
One would think that the rookie would be hesitant to step into a batter's box again. After all, the Carlos Villanueva heater left Chisenhall with a fractured sinus, a bloody nose and a scratch on his cheek. However, that wasn't the case.
"I got in there and I was comfortable like normal," Chisenhall said.
The third baseman sat out three games, then benefited from the All-Star break. That gave him a week to think about what happened before he squared off against Major League pitching again. More important to Chisenhall, though, was that it took him out of his rhythm at the plate.
"I hadn't played in about a week, so just getting into it -- it's a lot easier when you play every day," Chisenhall said.
Chisenhall, called up from Triple-A Columbus on June 27, had a hit in seven of his first eight games before his cheek absorbed Villanueva's fastball. In his first five contests following the All-Star break, Chisenhall batted just .118 (2-for-17). However, the Morehead City, N.C., native has collected four hits in seven at-bats over the last two games, showing signs that he's regained a rhythm with his smooth left-handed swing.
"I feel good up there every day and every day more so," Chisenhall said. "The more days I'm up here, the more comfortable I'll be."
Indians manager Manny Acta expected Chisenhall to need some time to find a groove at the plate.
"It's good to see him come back out of that, especially being hit in the face," Acta said. "We knew it was going to take him a while. He wasn't on the field for a few days, and it usually takes guys some time to get in a rhythm."
Quote to note
"If I win 100 games, I couldn't care less if the other 62 are shutouts." -- Indians manager Manny Acta, after his team was shut out Friday for the 10th time this season
With Sandy Alomar in Cooperstown, N.Y., for his brother, Roberto's, induction into the Hall of Fame, Indians field coordinator Tom Wiedenbauer took over first-base coaching duties for the weekend. Wiedenbauer racked up six at-bats in his Major League career, all in a four-game span with the Houston Astros in 1979, when he was 20. He had four hits in those six at-bats, finishing his career with a .667 batting average.
Manager Manny Acta said pitcher Alex White felt fine Saturday, a day after throwing his entire repertoire of pitches in a bullpen session for the first time since spraining his right middle finger on May 20. White is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Monday. The rookie said he hopes to return within the next few weeks.
Acta said the clubhouse has been more relaxed this year as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Last year, the Indians dealt Kerry Wood, Jake Westbrook and Jhonny Peralta. The Indians don't have those same type of veterans on short-term contracts this year and could become buyers at the Deadline.
"At the beginning of the season last year, everybody knew that at some point, [Wood] was going to go, Westbrook was going to go, and there was a very good chance that Jhonny was going to go," Acta said. "It's a different clubhouse. We don't have those types of decisions to make. ... We're in it, so there's a possibility that we'll be buyers instead of moving guys out of our locker room. It's a totally different story."
Zack Meisel is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.