6/1/2013 2:30 P.M. ET
Tribe launches skin cancer awareness campaign Sunday
By Mark Emery / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- During Sunday's series finale with Tampa Bay, the Indians will engage in a number of activities to help launch Major League Baseball's Play Sun Smart campaign, a collaboration with the American Academy of Dermatology that aims to prevent skin cancer.
The Tribe will recognize the campaign before and during the game. Their broadcasters will wear Play Sun Smart lapel pins and fans can expect public service announcements throughout the day.
"The reality is, our game is one that's played out in the elements and often in the sun," club president Mark Shapiro said. "To be responsible for our kids and ourselves, we've got to protect ourselves. And so this is an effort to educate people as to how important it is.
"Although being outside can be one of the greatest things in the world -- watching baseball, playing baseball -- it can also be something where a lot of damage is incurred to the skin, potentially life-threatening if you don't take the right precautions."
On July 9, players and front-office members will undergo their annual skin cancer screening at Progressive Field.
Team president Shapiro addresses Friday's rain delays
CLEVELAND -- Mike Aviles stretched out on a clubhouse couch Saturday morning and imagined how nice it might have been to just make his bed there after Friday's game finished up around 3 a.m. ET.
That option probably appealed to many of the Indians' players, who had to be back at Progressive Field for a 1:05 p.m. ET start against Tampa Bay. For Mark Reynolds, that was the worst thing about Friday's rain delays, which totaled nearly five hours.
"It's weird, but it's part of baseball," Reynolds said after the game finally wrapped up. "You got to get the games in. Tampa doesn't come back here; we don't play them again. I'd rather have it tonight than have a doubleheader later on in the year."
Scheduling challenges are part of what made Friday's game so unique. In addition to Reynolds' point, there were no viable mutual off-days that would have provided a chance to reschedule. The two clubs wanted to get the game in, especially because the weather didn't look much better for the rest of the weekend.
Team president Mark Shapiro made a point of addressing the situation on Saturday, saying there was collaboration between the umpires, the league, both clubs and local weather specialists. He apologized to the fans in attendance and said that they should keep their ticket stubs, as the Indians are exploring ways to make up for the night's events.
"Pushing back problems to a later date didn't look like a good alternative for us," Shapiro said. "We feel terrible about that type of circumstance for our fans. That's not what we're looking to do here. We're looking to provide the best experience possible for our fans, and [to] have them wait around that long with that much uncertainty is something we want to work to make right."
The team issued a statement Saturday morning which said, in part, "For those who were unable to remain at the ballpark, we apologize for the inconvenience of the delays and subsequent restart of the game after midnight. ... We value each and every one of our fans. We want to thank the fans that did stay for some or all of the game for their loyalty, patience and perseverance. Our fans were incredible last night.
"While we did our best to ensure that those who stayed had a great experience, we realize that the weather-related circumstances from Friday's game presented difficulties for many fans to have a memorable ballpark experience. ... We are always looking to provide our fans the best experience possible at Progressive Field and in the near future reach out to last night's fans to make it right."
The fans who withstood the delays didn't go unnoticed by Nick Swisher, either. He appreciated their presence as well as their enthusiasm.
"Those nights can get long for sure, but it was pretty cool how many people stayed for that game," Swisher said Saturday. "Anytime you have a late game like that, and you come back for this next one, we're all going to sleep really well after that game today."
Langwell called up to reinforce 'pen; Barnes optioned
CLEVELAND -- Matt Langwell got the call early Saturday morning.
It came from Triple-A Columbus manager Chris Tremie, who asked Langwell to report to Cleveland, as the Indians had selected him to help reinforce a tired bullpen.
"It's great. I was really excited," said Langwell, who's yet to pitch in a Major League game. "I'm just really looking forward to getting out there and getting an inning under my belt."
The right-handed reliever takes the place of lefty Scott Barnes. Barnes was optioned to Columbus a day after giving up five runs in an inning during the Indians' 9-2 defeat, which lasted until 3 a.m. because of rain delays and saw the Tribe use five relievers.
Langwell, 27, has gone 2-1 with a 2.30 over 20 appearances (including one spot start) for the Clippers this season. He has a save to his name, and he held batters to a .243 batting average. Right-handed hitters hit just .186 against Langwell, who also averaged 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Cleveland picked Langwell in the 11th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
While there's no guarantee that his big league debut will happen on Saturday, Langwell said, "I'm sure I'll be one of the guys in the mix if we need that."
• The Indians' player who's taking the fewest at-bats between RBIs is Jason Giambi. The veteran slugger entered Saturday with an RBI every 4.06 at-bats. That number fell to 3.53 early in the game as Giambi hit a two-run homer in the second inning and an RBI single in the third off Rays' starter Chris Archer.
• Heading into Saturday, Cleveland had scored 120 of its 266 runs with two outs, the highest two-out run total in baseball.
Quote to note
"Very worth it right now. A lot of fun to watch those two out here and to have the impact that they've had on the team already. I think it's well worth sacrificing those two picks, for sure."
-- Indians director of scouting Brad Grant, referring to the two picks Cleveland forfeited to sign Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn in the offseason
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.