6/14/2013 7:20 P.M. ET
Tribe closer Perez nears rehab assignment
By Mark Emery / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- After three weeks away from live action, Chris Perez will probably be back on the mound in a Minor League park later this weekend.
The injured Indians closer threw a bullpen session on Friday and will likely make a rehab appearance on Sunday, Tribe manager Terry Francona announced before the opener of a three-game weekend series against Washington on Friday.
"[He] did real well," Francona said. "[He] didn't command great, which I don't think is a surprise, because he hadn't been off the mound much."
Francona said the club hadn't yet decided which Minor League affiliate Perez will pitch for. The closer went on the 15-day disabled list on May 27 with mild tendinitis in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder.
In 17 outings this season, Perez owns a 4.32 ERA and has converted six of eight save opportunities. Over his last 2 2/3 innings, Perez had allowed seven runs on five hits (three home runs) and five walks.
Perez's problems have spread away from the ballpark, too. Earlier this month, Perez and his wife were charged with misdemeanor drug possession when a package of marijuana was delivered to their rental home in Rocky River, Ohio. On Monday, the two pleaded not guilty.
The only Minor League affiliate that plays at home on Sunday is Class A Lake County.
"We'll sit with him -- we already have a little bit -- and determine what's in his best interest, and where," Francona said. "Hopefully, he's to the point where maybe it's only once. We'll see. We'll kind of see how he does. Because he wasn't down that long, I don't think getting back is going to take a really long time."
Francona: Asdrubal to return as quick as possible
CLEVELAND -- Indians fans who are uneasy about Asdrubal Cabrera being confined to the bench shouldn't have to worry much longer. The two-time All-Star is doing everything he can to put himself back on the field.
Cabrera was removed from the lineup halfway through the June 3 game in Yankee Stadium. A day later, the shortstop was on the 15-day disabled list with a right quadriceps strain. Tribe manager Terry Francona said Cabrera hasn't been careless or lazy when it comes to his recovery.
"He is doing really well," Francona said. "We can't put a day on it, just because it's a muscle, and when it is ready to be healed, it's going to be healed. Saying that, the day you see him out there, I'd be willing to bet it's probably as quick as humanly possible."
Cabrera had been hampered by the quad discomfort in the weeks before his strain. In 53 games this season, he's batting .254 (52-for-205) with 18 doubles, two triples and five home runs. Cabrera has 25 RBIs, 28 runs scored, 14 walks and 54 strikeouts. He has also been successful in five of six steal attempts.
In 50 games at shortstop, Cabrera has made three errors while participating in 29 double plays. He owns a .983 fielding percentage.
"He's doing everything in his power -- from sitting in the chair playing catch, to, you know, everything," Francona said. "He's been so diligent and so conscientious that he'll be back as quick as humanly possible. And I think that original three to four weeks is probably pretty, pretty close."
Francona saw positives during tough stretch
CLEVELAND -- A two-game winning streak might not be cause for celebration, but the Indians were certainly excited to just let the loss column be for awhile.
Prior to taking the final two contests in Texas, the Tribe had dropped eight straight and 16 of the past 20 games. For manager Terry Francona and his players, that grind was no simple one to handle, which made it nice to return to Progressive Field following a pair of wins.
"It helps, certainly. We show up every day to win," Francona said. "When [losses] start building, everybody feels it, myself included. But you have to be able to weather those things and come through them. Those things wear on you. It's human nature. If they didn't, that means you don't care. And we take what we're doing very, it's very personal. I know this is the way we make our living and everything, but it's so much past that, we care so much about it that it hurts -- it hurts a lot. I like this team so much. For their sake, and our sake, I want them to have results, you know, the results they're looking for."
On May 21, Cleveland began a portion of the schedule that brought 22 games against opponents with winning records, all to be played in a span of 23 days. The Indians went 6-16 in that stretch and were outscored, 119-90. They entered Friday trailing Detroit by 4 1/2 games in the American League Central.
"I saw nothing during that streak that made me think that this isn't going to be a good team," Francona said. "We fought through it. There were times when we found a way to lose as opposed to a way to win, but I didn't see guys giving up, things like that. It gave me reason to want to continue believing in them. First of all, that's what I want to do, but there was nothing that happened that made me feel any different."
McAllister to begin playing catch soon
CLEVELAND -- After a Thursday examination of his right middle finger, Zack McAllister will begin playing catch in about three days.
McAllister went on the 15-day disabled list on June 3 with a right middle finger sprain. Manager Terry Francona said the injured starter is "doing really well."
"We want to be cautious with him, and we will continue to be," Francona said. "He's making progress. He can already tell, just by even like touching it and moving it and things like that. And he got a good examination and we'll continue to monitor that."
In 11 starts this season, McAllister is 4-5 with a 3.43 ERA. He gave up a season-high five runs on June 2 against Tampa Bay, during which he had difficulties throwing his curveball.
"Now, we are going to be cautious with him, because this isn't something to play around with," Francona said. "And if we do treat it correctly and accordingly, he should be just fine, and that's the whole idea."
Quote to note
"The one thing, I guess, that sticks out to me, and it's just so hard not to like it, is that every ball he hits, he runs to first base like his pants are on fire. And it's hard as a manager not to really like that, because it's just, it's a good feeling." -- Francona on second baseman Jason Kipnis
• It was determined that Lou Marson will not need surgery after the catcher's Wednesday meeting with Dr. James Andrews. Marson has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 25 with right shoulder inflammation.
"He's shut down for a little while and we'll get him back, try to get him back to where he can start over again, hopefully with better results," Francona said.
Before the recent discomfort, the catcher made four rehab appearances between May 31 and June 7, going 1-for-9 with two walks and two strikeouts.
• The Indians have been busy this week signing their selections from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. On Friday, the club announced that sixth-rounder Casey Shane, 19th-round pick Matthew Whitehouse and 24th-round draftee K.D. Doane had agreed to terms. A day earlier, Cleveland announced the contracts of Silento Sayles, a 14th-round selection, and Paul Hendrix, who went in the 18th round. Nine of the Tribe's 39 picks have now been signed.
• On Thursday, Cleveland signed free agent Clay Rapada and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. The 32-year-old lefty was released by the Yankees on June 4. In 10 appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he went 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA. He also had four walks and four strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings of work.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.