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08/18/12 8:45 PM ET
Tribe looks to slow opposing baserunners
By Jeff Fletcher / Special to MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Some of the Indians' youngsters are learning that pitching in the big leagues is about more than pitching.
Case in point: In the fifth inning of Friday night's game, Zach McAllister lost track of Yoenis Cespedes at second base and allowed him to easily steal third with one out. Cespedes then scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
"You have to do a better job of controlling the running game and minimizing damage when guys get on," McAllister said. "That's something I have to do a better job of."
Baserunners have been successful in all 11 attempts against McAllister this year, but he is not alone. The Indians have allowed 101 stolen bases, tied with the Angels for the most in the American League. Their rate of throwing out runners is just 20 percent, which is second-worst.
"We have two of the best throwing catchers in the league," manager Manny Acta said, "but the past two years, we are not doing a very good job of holding runners."
Although Acta singled out the young pitchers, the Indians pitcher who has had the most trouble in that area is veteran Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez has allowed 26 stolen bases, the most in the Majors.
"He's got a lot of moving parts," Acta said. "That's nothing new with him. Some guys just have a certain type of delivery and they are always going to have issues holding runners."
Acta said he doesn't necessarily want the pitchers to disrupt their mechanics by speeding up their deliveries.
"It's about offsetting [the runner's] timing by sometimes holding the ball longer or by changing the look," Acta said. "There are different things you can do. It's not just speeding up."
Donald's first outfield nod goes well
OAKLAND -- Jason Donald's first big league start in the Indians outfield went without a hitch. In fact, he even made one nice sliding catch in foul territory.
"I felt like I've been able to make the adjustment from infield to outfield," Donald said on Saturday, a day after his first start in left field. "The biggest thing is just to react, instead of thinking so much about making sure I do this or that."
Donald said center fielder Michael Brantley was a big help: "He'll make sure I'm aware of what I'm supposed to do. It's comforting having him out there. He directs traffic really well."
The Indians began working Donald in as an outfielder during his recent stint at Triple-A Columbus. He played left and center. Manager Manny Acta said he'd use Donald at either of those spots, but not right.
The move is no doubt a sign that the Indians view Donald as a utility player more than an everyday player, but he said he's fine with whatever helps him stick in the Majors.
"It really does open up more opportunities to be able to get in a game," he said. "It maximizes my value for what I can do for a ballclub. If it's something that helps us win games and if it's something that helps my career, I'm all for it."