06/27/12 6:50 PM ET
Choo takes a breather against southpaw
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
The Yankees had left-hander Andy Pettitte on the hill and the Indians are currently in a stretch of 17 consecutive games leading up to the All-Star break. Acta tries to find certain games throughout a season to keep his key players fresh.
"It's a scheduled day off," Acta said. "We're going to have a lot of games in a row. Left-handed pitching. Day game. He needs it."
Without Choo in the lineup as the Indians' leadoff man -- a role he has embraced this season -- center fielder Michael Brantley slid into the lineup's top spot. Backup outfielder Aaron Cunningham took over in right field. Choo entered Wednesday's 5-4 loss in the sixth inning and drew a walk in the ninth inning in his lone plate appearance.
Through 68 games, Choo has hit .275 with six home runs, 24 doubles and 24 RBIs. Through 39 games as the lineup's tablesetter, the right fielder has hit at a .301 clip with a .363 on-base percentage.
Choo's main issue this season has been against left-handed pitchers, who have held him to a .188 (16-for-85) showing, with no homers and just two RBIs. Against righties, Choo has hit .317 (57-for-180), with six homers and 22 RBIs.
"He's done a nice job," Acta said. "The main thing for him is being on the field. If he's on the field, his numbers are going to be there. ... He has scuffled a little bit against lefties this year, but he's always hung in there and done decent against them. So I'm expecting that to improve, too."
Santana dealing with achy back
NEW YORK -- As if a prolonged slump was not hard enough on Carlos Santana, now the Indians catcher is dealing with being banged up.
In the ninth inning of Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Yankees, Santana was pulled from the game in favor of pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall. Indians manager Manny Acta made it clear that the decision had nothing to do with Santana's recent struggles.
"Carlos has some mid-back tightness," Acta said. "We had to pinch-hit for him."
Santana said the back tightness is related to the right rib cage soreness that has bothered him for the past couple of days. The catcher, who served as the designated hitter in the finale of the three-game series in New York, will be re-evaluated prior to Thursday's night game in Baltimore.
"I'll be OK," Santana said. "I felt it in my last at-bat. That's when I didn't feel 100 percent."
In the defeat in the Bronx, Santana went 0-for-3 with one strikeout and a flyout in his final at-bat in the sixth inning. Through six games on the current road trip, the catcher has gone just 1-for-13 at the plate. Over his past 27 games, dating back to May 18, Santana has hit just .151 (14-for-93) for the Indians.
On Wednesday, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Santana is not experiencing any lingering symptoms from the mild concussion that kept the catcher on the disabled list from May 26-June 5. Acta said that Santana's struggles are related to his timing, adding that the club is working hard with the catcher on reducing the excess body movement in his swing.
It is possible that Santana will receive a precautionary day off on Thursday, considering the Orioles will feature left-hander starter Wei-Yin Chen (7-3, 3.38). Santana has hit just .200 (14-for-70) against southpaws this season.
Call can't change Hannahan's replay opinion
NEW YORK -- Jack Hannahan is a baseball purist. Even in the wake of Tuesday's botched call at Yankee Stadium, the Indians third baseman is not a fan of adding more instant replay to handle in-game decisions.
Hannahan does, however, believe umpires should be punished for blatant mistakes.
"I'm just not a big fan of more instant replay," Hannahan said on Wednesday morning. "There's always been that aspect of the human element in there. Umpires are humans. They're going to make mistakes. The game is really fast. It's a job where you're going to make mistakes.
"But I feel like umpires should be held accountable. Players are. If I consistently don't do my job, I won't be here."
In the seventh inning of Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Yankees, Hannahan sliced a pitch from New York right-hander Phil Hughes down the left-field line. Left fielder Dewayne Wise tracked down the ball and tumbled over the side wall into the stands during a catch attempt. The ball skipped off his glove and rolled away.
Third-base umpire Mike DiMuro jogged by a fan in a red shirt who was holding the ball in the air, and ruled that Wise made the catch. At no point did DiMuro ask to see if Wise had the ball in his glove, and that was the part of the play that irked Hannahan. To the third baseman, instant replay was not the issue.
"A player goes over the stands or a player goes over the wall," Hannahan said, "the first question is always, 'Let's see the ball.' I feel like umpires would go about their job differently if they knew there were repercussions and that they're held accountable."
Indians manager Manny Acta said that more replay could be beneficial.
"I think it's in the works," Acta said. "It's probably going to be expanded. I think it's going to be helpful for just about everybody, because of cases like [Tuesday] night. ... For me, you've got to have a fine line that you don't want to cross. You don't want to take the human element out of the game completely.
"But I'd probably go like everybody else for the catch, no-catch plays in the outfield, or foul or fair down the lines. Stuff like that. You can't just replay everything."
Acta believes more replay in works
NEW YORK -- There was a reason Indians manager Manny Acta was not near Jack Hannahan when the third baseman was ejected by third-base umpire Mike DiMuro during the top of the eighth inning on Tuesday night.
Acta was discussing a missed call with home-plate ump Jim Reynolds.
"I was talking with Jim Reynolds over here at the plate," Acta said on Wednesday. "That's when Jim told me, 'I think you better get going. One of your players got thrown out.' Me and Jim were going over that play."
The play in question that had Hannahan so heated took place in the top of the seventh of Cleveland's 6-4 loss to the Yankees. Hannahan was ruled out on a fly ball into foul territory, but replays showed that New York left fielder Dewayne Wise did not make the catch as he fell into the stands.
Hannahan went into the clubhouse during the bottom of the seventh and reviewed the replay. When he took the field for the eighth, he told DiMuro that he missed the call and the umpire promptly ejected the third baseman from the contest.
"You're not supposed to argue after replays," Acta said. "It's an automatic ejection if you go in and you mention that you've been watching replay and they're missing pitches and all that. If you're allowed to do that, then the game would last 10 hours.
"Me and Jim were talking about the play, and what will happen in the future if that's going to be part of what's going to be included [in instant replay]. That's when it all happened."
Acta did not see the replay of Wise's missed catch until after the game.
"During the game, I didn't have to see it," Acta said. "Since they didn't show it on the board, I knew he didn't catch the ball."
Quote to note
"It's easy for all of us to go step back into the video room or replay plays at home from the comfort of our couches. Those guys don't have the luxury to do that. It's a tough job, We all want them to get every one of them right."
-- Indians manager Manny Acta, on missed calls by umpires
Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner (on the 15-day disabled list due to a right knee injury) was scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. Hafner will likely need a handful of Minor League games under his belt before rejoining Cleveland.
Triple-A right-hander Zach McAllister is expected to be promoted to Cleveland prior to Thursday's game against the Orioles to start for the Tribe. The Indians (currently carrying eight relievers) will likely option a reliever to the Minors to clear room for McAllister on the active roster.
Indians catcher Carlos Santana served as the designated hitter for Wednesday's game against the Yankees. Santana, who is currently nursing a sore right rib cage, has hit .156 (14-for-90) in his past 26 games, dating back to May 18. Manager Manny Acta said Santana is working through timing issues at the plate.
Triple-A Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh and Clippers infielders Matt LaPorta, Russ Canzler and Cord Phelps have all been selected to the International League All-Star team. This marks the second year in a row that Columbus sent Sarbaugh and three players to the annual showcase. It will be held on July 11 in Buffalo, N.Y.
The Indians claimed utility player Vinnie Rottino off waivers from the Mets on Wednesday. Rottino, 32, will be assigned to a Minor League affiliate within the next few days. To clear room on the 40-man roster, Cleveland designated righty Chris Schwinden for assignment. Rottino has hit .307 (43-for-140) with four homers, 10 doubles and 25 RBIs in 36 games for Triple-A Buffalo this season. He has hit .182 in 18 games this year for New York.