8/20/2013 10:50 P.M. ET
Elite defender Brantley sets Indians' error-free streak
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Not all error-free streaks are created equal. When it comes to the club-record run that Indians left fielder Michael Brantley carried into Tuesday's game against the Angels, the numbers do support his skill as a defender.
With another clean night at the office on Monday, Brantley chalked up his 213th consecutive game without an error for Cleveland. That broke Rocky Colavito's franchise mark of 212 games for an Indians outfielder -- established in two stints with the Tribe between the 1959-66 seasons.
"You can have a streak like that and it's not as meaningful," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I'm not talking about Brantley, because he's a guy that makes all the throws. That's why it makes it more impressive. There's guys that don't make errors that don't make plays. He goes in the corner, he goes in the alley, he makes throws.
"He's just very consistent and he never takes a play off. He's a talented outfielder, but he never takes a play off. He thinks ahead. He throws to the right base, and he's very accurate. He's just a real solid player."
Brantley also entered Tuesday tied with Kansas City's Alex Gordon for the most assists (10) among American League left fielders. Brantley's 10 assists this season are the most in one season by a Cleveland left fielder since Albert Belle had 11 in 1996.
Asked about Brantley's defensive ability, Indians third-base coach Brad Mills, who also coaches the team's outfielders, simply pointed to the errorless streak.
"That probably speaks for itself," Mills said. "The first thing that stands out is he's so consistent. Our whole outfield is absolutely outstanding this year with [Drew] Stubbs in right, [Michael] Bourn in center and Michael. I think they each help one another so well. They cover so much ground together."
Giambi provides significant support on and off field
ANAHEIM -- Indians manager Terry Francona has spent the past six months praising veteran Jason Giambi for what he brings to the team on and off the field. Francona is still not sure he has made his point emphatically enough.
So, Francona reiterated his appreciation for Giambi again on Tuesday.
"Giambi is a huge part of what we're doing," Francona said. "I try to say it, but I don't know if people fully understand just what he does mean for a ballclub. He's unbelievable. Ive never been around somebody that has the presence that he has."
"I've gone to him more times than is fair, asking his advice or helping with something. He's always there. It's tremendous. It's actually better than having another coach, because he's a player. When players deliver the right message, it goes a long way."
Entering Tuesday's game against the Angels, the 42-year-old Giambi was batting just .188 in 56 games this season, but he had eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 154 at-bats. With runners in scoring position, the aging slugger had posted a .949 OPS for Cleveland.
In Monday's 5-2 win over Los Angeles, Giambi finished 1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly for the Tribe. Following his double in the sixth inning, his Indians teammates could be seen reacting with excitement in the visitors' dugout at Angel Stadium.
"That's what I mean," Francona said. "That doesn't happen for everybody. You guys can't see the dugout or hear it all the time, but if he makes an out, if he doesn't drive a guy in, he'll collect himself, he'll sit down and he is screaming for the next guy. That's a 42-year-old man.
"He had a ball playing the game [Monday] night. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's why he's still playing."
Francona was asked if Giambi might go for a 20th big league season in 2014.
"I think so. I don't blame him," Francona said. "I think he said something about wanting to play until they tear [his uniform] off. Good for him. I'd love to have him back here. He knows that."
When Giambi does hang it up as a player, perhaps Francona would consider him for a coaching job.
"He might be the manager," Francona said with a laugh. "I might be coaching for him."
Quote to note
"There's another guy that's coming into his own and has made a name for himself. Maybe a lot of people didn't know who he was at the start of the season, but they definitely know who he is now. You've got runners coming over to first base saying, 'Man, Swish. I ain't going nowhere, man. This guy has a cannon.'"
-- Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, on catcher Yan Gomes
• Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor is currently on the seven-day Minor League disabled list dealing with a back injury. General manager Chris Antonetti said the 19-year-old Lindor will be getting a second opinion on the injury.
"There's no indication that he'll need surgery," Antonetti said on Tuesday. "We'll obviously be smart about this, but we have a long-term focus in mind."
That likely means that the Indians will consider shutting Lindor down for the remainder of this season. In 104 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this year, the switch-hitting shortstop has hit .303 with two homers, 22 doubles, seven triples, 34 RBIs, 25 stolen bases and 65 runs.
• Indians utility man Ryan Raburn, who has been in the starting lineup in just three of the team's past 13 games, continues to deal with a sore right calf. Francona said Raburn would have been in the lineup on Tuesday to face Angels lefty C.J. Wilson under normal circumstances.
"He's such an important part of what we're doing," Francona said of Raburn, who is tied for the team lead with 15 home runs. "I just think sometimes you look at the small picture and miss the big one. Having him at full strength for the last stretch is really important."
• In the eighth inning of Monday's win over the Angels, Francona told pitcher Scott Kazmir to be ready to pinch-run if Giambi reached base. Rather than running from the assignment, Kazmir ran back to the clubhouse to get the proper shoes.
"All the guys seemed like they really wanted to see 'G' get on, too," Francona said. "Kaz ran up, got his spikes. That makes the game so much more fun for me. Even when things aren't going perfect, when youve got guys willing to [help in any way possible], those are things that mean a lot to me."
• Indians starter Corey Kluber (on the disabled list with a sprained right middle finger) continued his throwing program on Tuesay, working up to 120 feet with tape on his injured digit. After that session, Kluber threw without the tape up to a distance of 75 feet.
• On Tuesday, the Indians named low Class A Lake County catcher Jeremy Lucas the organization's Minor League player of the week for Aug. 12-19. During that time period, Lucas hit .389 (7-for-18) with one home run, two doubles, four runs and six RBIs for the Captains.