06/30/12 4:25 PM ET
Acta hopes Asdrubal makes AL All-Star squad
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
"It'd be nice," Acta said on Saturday afternoon. "He's starting to establish himself as an All-Star player in this league and that usually happens when you start piling up All-Star Games. This would be his second one, if he makes it."
Indeed, Cabrera's first All-Star selection came one year ago, when he earned a spot on the AL team via the player balloting. Cabrera was then named the starter at shortstop after Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter pulled out of the contest.
Last season was a breakout campaign for Cabrera, who hit .273 with 25 home runs, 32 doubles and 92 RBIs in 151 games for Cleveland. The 26-year-old shortstop has been strong again in this season's first half, hitting .292 with 11 homers, 17 doubles and 38 RBIs through 67 games, entering Saturday.
Heading into Saturday's action, Cabrera had hit .278 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in his last 13 games.
"He's been solid the whole year," Acta said. "He got a lot of publicity last year because of the home runs and stuff. He's got 11 already. He's been huge. He's the guy I want at the plate when the game is on the line. He's just been steady."
Acta is also hoping that second baseman Jason Kipnis -- up against the likes of New York's Robinson Cano, Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Texas' Ian Kinsler at a star-studded position -- might make the cut for the AL squad, too. Through 75 games, Kipnis has hit .279 with 11 home runs, 45 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 18 stolen bases for the Tribe.
"It'd be nice to see Kipnis, too," Acta said. "I know we have a lot of good second basemen in our league, but managers can pick guys, too."
Donald recalled to replace injured Chisenhall
BALTIMORE -- Jason Donald wishes his return to the big leagues had come under different circumstances, but the Indians infielder plans on doing everything he can to make the most of his unexpected opportunity.
On Saturday, Donald was recalled from Triple-A Columbus after the Indians placed third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured ulna in his right forearm. Chisenhall was set to undergo surgery in Cleveland on Saturday evening and is expected to miss at least four to six weeks.
"It's an unfortunate thing for Lonnie, it really is," Donald said. "You never like to see a guy go down, especially since we're good buddies. It's tough to see that, but at the same time, it's happened to a lot of people. It's happened to me. It's happened to a lot of guys. It's part of the game.
"I'm very happy to be back here and I look forward to contributing."
Chisenhall was hit on the right arm with a pitch from Orioles lefty Troy Patton in the fifth inning of Cleveland's 9-8 loss on Friday night. The 23-year-old third baseman's operation -- aimed at setting the fracture -- will be performed by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic.
As for Donald, he will slide into the same type of role he held earlier this season for the Indians. The 27-year-old utility man will provide depth at second base, shortstop and third base, as well as in left and center field. Donald was optioned to Columbus on May 12 after hitting .178 (8-for-45) overall and .095 (2-for-21) against lefties in 16 games with the Tribe earlier this year.
"He's here to back up the infield and the outfield," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We had him at Triple-A playing some outfield. He played some center field and some left field. Obviously, this is a move that sooner or later we were going to make."
At Columbus, Donald hit .252 with two homers, seven doubles and 18 RBIs in 40 games for the Clippers. He appeared mostly at shortstop (21 games), but bounced around the diamond defensively, mixing in nine games as an outfielder. Donald believes he is now better equipped to handle a reserve role for the Tribe.
Donald said he beat himself up over poor games and added that his daily workout routine was too aggressive on the days he was not in the lineup.
"I didn't handle it very well," Donald said of his previous stint with the Indians. "I didn't take command. I didn't take hold of what that position brought. I let it affect me. I wasn't even-keeled with it. I think this time around, I'm definitely going to try to do things a lot different and try to handle the situation a lot better."
Santana works out before game, nearing return
BALTIMORE -- Indians catcher Carlos Santana took a step toward returning to the lineup on Saturday afternoon.
Santana went through a pregame workout with head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff and it is possible that the catcher might be cleared to play in Sunday's game against the Orioles. The catcher has missed the past three games due to soreness in his back and right side.
"We're just trying to get him on the field -- plain and simple," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We just don't want to put him out there and jeopardize having him go on the [disabled list] or losing him for a longer period of time."
After taking a break from all baseball activities on Thursday and Friday, Santana did some hitting and played catcher prior to Saturday's game in Baltimore. The catcher exited Wednesday's game in New York after experiencing mid-back tightness. He had also been dealing with a right rib cage issue.
The Indians were pleased with Santana's progress on Saturday.
"We're satisfied with where he's at," Acta said. "So we're going to see if we're going to be able to get him out there [Sunday]."
Acta did not rule out the possibility of keeping Santana out of the fold until Monday, though.
Beyond the health woes, Santana also has been struggling with a persistent slump. Through the first six games of the current road trip, he was mired in a 1-for-16 funk. Dating back to May 18, Santana has hit just .151 (14-for-93) across 27 games for Cleveland.
Overall, Santana has hit .220 with five home runs, 11 doubles and 29 RBIs in 63 games.
Quote to note
"You grind yourself to death. Even though I didn't play all that much, it was like I was playing a doubleheader every day with the way I was working. It just wasn't smart. It wasn't efficient. It wasn't a productive way to do things."
--Indians infielder Jason Donald, on his flawed approach to game preparation early in the season
Indians manager Manny Acta has been encouraged by his team's recent offensive performance. Entering Saturday, the Tribe had hit .316 (37-for-117) with a .325 (13-for-40) mark with runners in scoring position and 23 runs scored over the past 28 innings. In the previous 44 innings of this road trip, the Indians hit .176 (26-for-149) with a .100 (3-for-30) showing with RISP and only five runs scored.
"They did pick it up [Tuesday] in New York," Acta said. "And it just carried over. We're having better at-bats. Overall this month, the quality of our at-bats weren't as good as the first two months. Whether we ran into some good pitching, or the guys had a tough time, that's a different story. But I really like the way we've swung the bats starting in New York."
Designated hitter Travis Hafner (on the 15-day disabled list due to a right knee injury) is scheduled to play in Minor League games for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday and Sunday. After those rehab appearances, Cleveland will determine whether Hafner will be ready to be activated on Monday. The Indians will need to remove a player (infielder Jason Donald and outfielder Aaron Cunningham are two candidates) from the roster.
Sidelined center fielder Grady Sizemore (back/knee) and left-hander Rafael Perez (left lat) are scheduled to take steps forward in their rehab during the coming homestand, which begins Monday. Sizemore is slated to resume running drills and Perez is scheduled to resume throwing off a mound. It is still unclear when either player might be able to rejoin the Indians.
Acta said he used closer Chris Perez in the eighth inning of Friday's 9-8 loss to the Orioles simply to ensure the reliever got some game action. Perez had not pitched since June 22. Had Cleveland gone into the ninth with a lead, Vinnie Pestano would have served as a temporary closer.