05/24/12 3:57 PM ET
Choo shining in role as Indians' leading man
By Justin Albers / MLB.com
He doesn't believe the switch is the reason why his batting average has improved approximately 40 points since moving up. The way he sees it, he was beginning to hit better before the change was made.
"The first four or five weeks, I missed a lot of fastballs," Choo said. "In the big leagues, if you miss fastballs, you can't play here. You have to hit a fastball. Now I'm swinging to make contact -- ground ball, fly ball, whatever."
Whether the move and Choo's hot hitting are related, it's clear he is comfortable in the leadoff spot. He's has five walks, a home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases since manager Manny Acta moved him on May 14 against the Twins, and he led off Thursday's game with a 454-foot homer off Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Entering Thursday, the Indians were 7-2 since the lineup change, and Acta has no plans to move Choo out of the leadoff spot any time soon.
"If it ain't broke, why fix it?" Acta said. "He's doing well, we're doing well. It's the best thing for us now. Why try to experiment with someone else?"
Hafner day to day after fouling ball off leg
CLEVELAND -- Designated hitter Travis Hafner was out of the lineup on Thursday after taking a foul ball off his right leg on Wednesday night, and he is listed as day to day.
"He got hit pretty hard in that knee, and it's a little swollen," Acta said after Thursday's game, a 2-1 win over the Tigers that gave the Indians the series sweep. "We'll see how he shows up tomorrow."
Hafner stayed in the game after the incident, and the Indians are lucky he did. He crushed a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 4-2 win, and knocked in the go-ahead run with a groundout in the eighth.
Hafner was in a minor hitting slump before his 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday, having entered the game with only one hit in 13 at-bats.
Tomlin feels good after simulated game
CLEVELAND -- Josh Tomlin, who has been on the disabled list since May 12 with intersection syndrome in his right wrist, threw a 50-pitch simulated game on Thursday morning.
"I feel pretty good," Tomlin said. "We'll see how I respond [on Friday] and go from there."
Tomlin was able to throw all of his pitches during the session and said that none of them caused him any pain.
Manager Manny Acta said earlier in the week that he expects Tomlin to be able to return to the rotation without needing a Minor League rehab start. Tomlin is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA in five starts this season.
"He looked good," Acta said on Thursday. "He's expected to be OK."
Quote to note
"If you had your stuff every day, everybody would be throwing no-hitters. It's just kind of using what you have that day and battling through the rest." -- reliever Vinnie Pestano on working out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning of Wednesday night's win over the Tigers
Second baseman Jason Kipnis had three hits and scored the game-winning run on Wednesday night. It was his first three-hit game since May 1, against the White Sox.
Jose Lopez has been clutch at the plate late in games this season. When hitting in the seventh through ninth innings, the third baseman is 7-for-17 with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs.
Minor League pitcher Austin Adams underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder on Wednesday. Adams, one of the Indians' top pitching prospects, who throws his fastball in the upper 90s, was invited to Spring Training but was unable to pitch because of shoulder issues. He went 11-10 with a 3.77 ERA for Double-A Akron last season.
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.