6/5/2013 5:04 P.M. ET
Francona: Reynolds' slump not due to position shift
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Indians manager Terry Francona does not believe there is any correlation between Mark Reynolds' recent slump in the batter's box and his move to third base on the field.
Reynolds shifted to third base last month after Cleveland sent third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A Columbus on May 13. That was around the same time that Reynolds' performance at the plate began to decline after his torrid April.
Francona checked with Reynolds to make sure the demands of handling the hot corner were not affecting the slugger's plate appearances.
"I asked him that, because I wanted to know," Francona said on Wednesday. "I do think it's more physically challenging. I think he's enjoying the heck out of it, and he told me if he needed a [day off], he'd tell me."
Reynolds was batting .247 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs through 56 games, entering Wednesday's game with the Yankees. Since Chisenhall was sent down to Triple-A, though, Reynolds had hit just .182 (14-for-77) with two home runs, nine RBIs and 26 strikeouts through 22 games.
With Columbus, Chisenhall has hit at a .382 clip with six home runs and 18 RBIs through 17 games, posting a .469 on-base percentage and a .721 slugging percentage. In his last 10 games, heading into Wednesday's action, the young third baseman had hit .500 (19-for-38) with four homers and 12 RBIs for the Clippers.
Francona said the Indians have not discussed potentially promoting Chisenhall back to the Majors lately. He noted that general manager Chris Antonetti and his staff have been busy preparing for Thursday's First-Year Player Draft and that carrying backup shortstop Juan Diaz -- with All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera on the disabled list with a right quad injury -- was a higher priority right now.
"To be honest with you, not this week," Francona said. "It's not that we don't talk about Lonnie, but not this week."
Hagadone builds confidence with Houdini act
NEW YORK -- The Indians needed two outs to escape a key moment on Tuesday night. With the bases loaded and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano at the plate in the seventh inning, Cleveland manager Terry Francona handed the ball to lefty Nick Hagadone.
"That's huge for me to know that Tito's got the confidence in me to put me in that situation," Hagadone said on Wednesday.
The Indians ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision to the Yankees, but Hagadone's escape act in the seventh surely provided a confidence boost for the left-hander. Hagadone worked ahead in the count and then fired an 81-mph slider, which Cano beat into the ground for an inning-ending double play.
That held Cleveland's deficit at one run and impressed Francona.
"I think it was good for him. It should be," Francona said. "He just faced one of the best left-handers in the league, and he got a double play. It should help him immensely."
Hagadone headed into that appearance having posted a 14.21 ERA with a .333 opponents' batting average over his previous seven appearances, dating back to May 11. During that span, the lefty's season ERA soared to 7.20 from 2.08. Hagadone said his confidence was not lacking, but getting Cano out at a critical point certainly did not hurt.
"A one-run game with the bases loaded, it's just big for my confidence," Hagadone said. "To come through against a hitter like that, to know that I can get him out, that was big for me. I always have confidence in my stuff. But any time you can come through in a situation like that, it's always good."
Last season, Hagadone posted a 16.43 ERA over his final 10 appearances with the Indians after putting up a 2.04 ERA across his first 17 games. The left-hander said that slump was harder on him than the rough patch he has experienced lately.
"It definitely is different," Hagadone said. "I feel, for the most part, really good about how I've thrown the ball lately, and I feel confident going forward."
Quote to note
"We didn't let him shower."
-- Francona, joking about Mike Aviles' punishment for being ejected after Tuesday's game had already ended
• The Indians signed free-agent infielder Paddy Matera on Wednesday and assigned him to Class A Advanced Carolina. In 40 games with the Independent Camden Riversharks this year, the 25-year-old Matera hit .304 with six home runs and 18 RBIs. He has experience at second base, shortstop and third base.
• Indians starter Brett Myers (out since April 20 with a right elbow injury) has not resumed throwing since being shut down on May 22. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff is heading back to Cleveland on Thursday's team off-day to follow up with Myers, who might be cleared to begin a throwing program later this week.
• Heading into Wednesday's game in New York, the Indians' starting staff had posted an 8.10 ERA (15 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings) in the team's past three games (all losses). Prior to that rough stretch, Cleveland's rotation posted a 0.78 ERA (two earned runs in 23 innings) in the previous four games.
• The Indians squared off against Yankees lefty CC Sabathia (a former American League Cy Young Award winner) on Wednesday. Entering the game, former Cy winners were a combined 2-7 with an 8.29 ERA in nine starts against Cleveland this season.