7/7/2013 12:59 P.M. ET
Reynolds returns to lineup as slump persists
By Jordan Bastian and Mark Emery / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Mark Reynolds' career has been filled with peaks and valleys. The Indians' designated hitter is currently trying to find his way out of a canyon.
Reynolds was back in the starting lineup Sunday after sitting Saturday for the first eight innings of the Tribe's 9-4 loss to the Tigers. Reynolds entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and struck out, continuing his recent slump.
"It's just a confidence thing," Reynolds said. "You get in those funks and it's tough to get out. I've done it before, so I'm not freaking out or anything. I've just got to go back to square one and square a ball up, and hopefully things will turn for me."
Reynolds entered Sunday mired in an 0-for-20 spell that included 11 strikeouts over a span of six games. In his past 53 games, Reynolds hit .177 with a .273 on-base percentage and a .249 slugging percentage. In that span, he had four home runs, 18 RBIs and 74 strikeouts against 22 walks.
That is a drastic contrast to Reynolds' first 31 games, in which he posted a slash line of .291/.367/.645 to go along with 11 homers, 29 RBIs, 32 strikeouts and 14 walks. Reynolds averaged one strikeout per 3.4 at-bats during that stretch. In the 53 games since, he has one strikeout per 2.4 at-bats.
The recent strikeout rate is more in line with Reynolds' career, which has included an average of one whiff every 2.6 at-bats over 853 games. The designated hitter (and part-time first and third baseman) has seen his batting average drop to .220, below his career .235 mark from tours with Arizona, Baltimore and Cleveland.
"Pretty much everything is off," Reynolds said. "I pretty much had the worst four at-bats I've ever had [on Friday], and things start snowballing on you and it gets in your head. I've got to go back, get in the cage and work and get out of this thing."
Reynolds said he has been over-aggressive on inside pitches and has watched outside pitches go for strikes. Earlier this season, he did a better job of going with what the pitcher gave him, hitting outside offerings to the opposite field at a higher rate.
Right now, Reynolds is looking for anything to get him going again for the Tribe.
"It's a swinging bunt, a blooper, anything," Reynolds said. "It's like anything in life. Once it starts rolling the wrong way, it's tough to get out of it. I told you guys, it happens. It happens to the best of us. Hopefully I'll be laughing about this in a couple of weeks."
Indians designate Carrasco, promote Guilmet
CLEVELAND -- The Indians announced a trio of roster moves before Sunday's game against Detroit.
Carlos Carrasco, who started and lost on Saturday, was designated for assignment for the purposes of optioning him to Triple-A Columbus. In his place, the Tribe selected the contract of right-handed reliever Preston Guilmet. Also, the club transferred injured catcher Lou Marson to the 60-day disabled list.
Guilmet, 25, made 34 appearances for Columbus this season, compiling a 2.32 ERA and recording 16 saves. Over 42 2/3 innings, Guilmet struck out 50 and walked 12. This is the first Major League stint for Guilmet, who was drafted by the Tribe in the ninth round in 2009.
"Just excited to be here," Guilmet said. "Can't wait to help the club out [the] best I can. Really just happy to be here, been working a long time for this. It's cool to finally get to this level and see how things go down the road.
"There's no real word that describes the feeling. It's just a thrill to finally get the opportunity."
Guilmet learned about his callup during the Clippers' doubleheader on Saturday. He most recently pitched on Friday, when he allowed three hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings.
"I'm not going to overpower guys with the fastball," he said. "But, I think I get in there, I compete. I throw a lot of strikes and work pretty quick."
"He's worked his way up all the way from Rookie ball," Tribe manager Terry Francona said after Sunday's game. "At every level, he has succeeded. And he doesn't overwhelm you with his stuff, but he knows how to pitch and he competes."
A Triple-A All-Star, Guilmet takes the place of Carrasco on Cleveland's active roster. Across six starts spread over several stretches with the Indians, Carrasco went 0-4 with a 9.10 ERA.
In order to option Carrasco to Triple-A, the Indians need to first secure optional waivers, which is a two-day process for a player three years removed from his Major League debut. Since the right-hander was recalled Saturday to pitch against Detroit, Cleveland needed to designate him for assignment while awaiting the right to option him to the Minor Leagues.
In Saturday's game against the Tigers, Carrasco gave up seven runs (six earned) over just 3 1/3 innings.
"Because he went short, we wanted an arm," said Francona, who revealed the club planned on keeping Carrasco in the rotation for another start. "And we need him to pitch better."
Right shoulder inflammation has limited Marson's playing time to just three Major League games this season. He also has appeared in eight games for Columbus, but had to withdraw from a rehab assignment last month because of shoulder soreness.
Swisher up for first Feller Act of Valor Award
CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher and Justin Verlander were honored prior to Sunday's game against Detroit for being among the five nominees for the inaugural Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.
Along with Swisher and Verlander, Washington's Ross Detwiler, Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and Minnesota's Justin Morneau were named as finalists for the award in an announcement made Saturday by the Indians, U.S. Navy and Baseball Hall of Fame. Those three entities created the award earlier this year to celebrate Feller, who enlisted in the Navy directly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sacrificed nearly four years of his baseball career to fight in World War II.
"The Indians share strong feelings for Bob's contribution to our organization and this country, and are proud to share in the creation of this award, which focuses on three things Bob held most dear: the Cleveland Indians, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the United States Navy," Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' senior vice president of public affairs, said in a press release. "We look forward to honoring these nominees for their display of high character and dedication to servicemen and women."
One of the five players will receive the award on Veterans Day at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington. Former Yankees catcher Yogi Berra was chosen as the National Baseball Hall of Fame award winner, while the U.S. Navy's nominees for the award have yet to be announced.
Feller enlisted as a 23-year-old, despite possessing a deferment with which he could have been exempt from service. He saw combat in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Alabama. The USS Alabama Battle Commission is also supporting the award.
"The men and women that we've met, fighting for our country, giving us what we have here, having the opportunity to wake up every morning and walk outside your front door and not worry about getting bombed, it's an amazing thing," Swisher said, "because after going over to Afghanistan, I don't know if I could be able to do something like that.
"For these men and women, I think they deserve it. I think this is such an amazing opportunity, just to bring a lot of attention to them, the men and women who actually deserve it. Just to be in that running is great, man. I'm so excited."
• Indians right-hander Zach McAllister (on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger) tested out his breaking ball -- the pitch that poses the most problems with his ailing finger -- during a flat-ground throwing session Saturday. McAllister felt "nothing that concerned" him and he plans on mixing the pitch in during his scheduled simulated game Monday.
• Indians players called a brief team meeting immediately after Saturday's 9-4 loss to the Tigers. The message in short was that Cleveland has not played its brand of baseball and needs to get its act together and put the pressure on its opponent. The game marked the division-leading Tigers' seventh straight win against the Tribe.
• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 0-for-4 on Saturday, ending his hitting streak at 16 games and his on-base streak at 36 games. The first-time All-Star is only the fourth Indians player since at least 1916 with at least 19 stolen bases, 35 extra-base hits and 50 RBIs in the first half, joining Grady Sizemore (2008), Roberto Alomar (1999) and Joe Carter ('87).
• Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers and brought first baseman Matt LaPorta, pitchers Rob Bryson and Zach Jackson, and a player to be named later to the Indians. The last player in that trade wound up being outfielder Michael Brantley, who is Cleveland's starter in left field.
Quote to note
"I definitely didn't take the smoothest path to get to this point. I kind of dug myself a little hole early on, but we worked our way back and stuck with it. That's a compliment to the guys around me in this locker room. I have confidence in myself and faith in myself, but without these guys supporting me around here in this locker room, I never would've got to this point."
-- Kipnis, on making the All-Star team
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.