8/24/2013 7:35 P.M. ET
Bourn's steals down, but Francona won't stop him
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Michael Bourn has not enjoyed the same kind of success on the basepaths this season that he has grown accustomed to over his career. The last thing the Indians are going to do is tell him to stop running.
"I encourage him to run, because that's part of his game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Sometimes, what comes with it is you're going to be thrown out. We're the type of team that, if we sit around, especially when we're not really swinging great, it makes it harder for us."
Entering Saturday's game against the Twins, Bourn had been thrown out an American League-leading 10 times in 29 stolen-base attempts this season. His 66-percent success rate is the lowest of his career and the center fielder is on pace to end the year with fewer than 40 thefts for the first time since his rookie season in 2007 (18 stolen bases for the Phillies).
Over the previous five seasons, Bourn led baseball with 257 stolen bases and had an 81-percent success rate during that span with the Astros and Braves.
"He's pretty intelligent," Francona said. "Pitchers in today's game do a very good job, because it's part of the game. One of the first things we look at when we go into a series is who you can run on. ... We're seeing a lot of starters where it's just not the big numbers.
"Teams are noticeably making an effort to stop runners. Now, saying that, I've seen a lot of times where Bourny's on first and whoever's hitting second -- whether it was Swish [Nick Swisher] or Cabby [Asdrubal Cabrera] -- is either getting ahead in the count, because guys are slide-stepping, or they're leaving fastballs up or not throwing their best breaking ball."
Francona downplayed the significance of Bourn's caught-stealing rate this season.
"There's been three or four of those where it's been must-go on a 3-2 count," Francona said. "That's going to happen. We're running with protection. It's a left-hander, he's not going on first move, so we need contact or most likely his chances aren't great."
Raburn doing everything to avoid DL stint
CLEVELAND -- Ryan Raburn says his legs have felt beat up for most of this season. When the utility man launched a home run against the A's on Sunday, the issue worsened, and now he is doing all he can to avoid a trip to the disabled list.
Raburn was out of the starting lineup for Cleveland for the 13th time in the past 16 games on Saturday due to a right calf injury. During his second-inning homer nearly a week ago, he also felt pain flare in his left foot and Achilles tendon. He underwent an MRI exam on Saturday and the results showed inflammation, but no structural damage.
"I don't even think [going on the DL] is a possibility, to be honest," Raburn said. "Yeah, we've thought about it. That's why we had to get the MRI. Me, personally, I can probably play through a lot of this stuff, but if it sets me back again, I just don't want to put the team in a bad spot.
"[The DL] is the last resort. I'm hoping, worst-case scenario, I can be ready for Tuesday."
The Indians have an off-day on Monday before opening a three-game road series with the Braves on Tuesday.
Raburn said he has not done any hitting since going 1-for-4 with the homer on Sunday in Oakland, but he planned on doing some light running on a treadmill on Saturday. Over the past six days, he has had discomfort while simply walking, though he has offered to come off the bench as a pinch-hitter if needed.
"It's kind of day to day," said Raburn, who is tied for the team lead with 15 home runs. "It's feeling better today, so we're going to try to kind of boost the activities up, and try to get it back to where I can get out there and perform."
If Raburn does go on the disabled list, it would be retroactive to Sunday, meaning he would be eligible for activation by Sept. 3. On Sept. 1, Major League Baseball rosters expand to 40 players, giving clubs a chance to add reinforcements. While Raburn is active and on the bench, Indians manager Terry Francona said he can also use a couple pitchers as pinch-runners in an emergency.
"What happened," Francona said, "is he had the calf [injury] going and maybe because he overcompensated, the other heel was bothering him. So, we got it scanned and it came back clean, which is good. Now, we go completely on symptoms."
Kluber's rehab continues to progress positively
CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber continues to pass the necessary tests in his comeback from a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand. The Indians right-hander played catch on Saturday with no issues, which has been the theme throughout his rehab.
"It's good, really good," Kluber said on Saturday. "I don't have any issues at all throwing. I don't really have any issues with anything. So, it's just a follow-the-process kind of thing. I'm happy with how it's going.
"I was somewhat expecting to maybe feel it a little more once I started adding in new things. But, I haven't, really."
Kluber -- shelved with the injury on Aug. 6 -- is scheduled to rest on Sunday leading up to a bullpen session during the team's off-day on Monday. It will mark his first time throwing off a mound since injuring the finger in a start against the Tigers on Aug. 5, when he spun 7 1/3 shutout innings.
The injury stemmed from a breaking ball thrown in the eighth inning against Detroit. To this point in his throwing program, which only recently included playing catch without protective tape on his finger, Kluber has been limited to just fastballs and changeups.
Indians manager Terry Francona noted that Kluber was checked again by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, who was encouraged by the pitcher's progress.
"He's doing really well," Francona said of Kluber. "He was seen by the doctor and the doctor kind of gave him a thumbs up, like full go. That was great to hear. That was really good news."
Quote to note
"We have guys right now that are hitting third and fifth that are kind of cold. They're right smack in the middle of the order. That'll turn around. However you want to word it -- ebb and flow -- it's baseball. It'd be great to have nine guys hot at once, but that rarely happens." -- Indians manager Terry Francona on slumping hitters Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley
• Indians pitcher Brett Myers, who has been on the disabled list since April due to a right elbow injury, worked one-third of an inning for Double-A Akron in a Minor League rehab assignment on Saturday night, giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits with one wild pitch. Indians manager Terry Francona said Myers will need to log a handful of innings before potentially being cleared for activation.
"We need him to do it multiple times, just because he's been down so long," Francona said. "And when we put him on the 60-day [DL], now you're talking about creating roster spots and things like that, so we have to make sure he's OK."
• All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis headed into Saturday's game mired in an 0-for-19 slump, dating back to Sunday's game in Oakland. Kipnis tends to roll over pitches during his cold spells, but Francona noted that he has run into some tough outs to the opposite field lately, as well.
"He's also hit a couple balls to left field pretty good," Francona said. "It's just that they've been caught. I think that's where the reward part comes in. You've heard me say it before. When a guy hits a ball the opposite way, it's nice when they get rewarded for it, because it kind of drives it home."
• Longtime Indians fan John Adams, who is best known for banging his drum in the left-field bleachers, was honored by the team on Saturday. It marked the 40th anniversary of his first Tribe game at Cleveland Stadium. Adams has attended 3,213 Indians games since first toting his drum to the ballpark.
• Infielder Grant Field of the Arizona League (Rookie) Indians entered Saturday riding a 12-game hitting streak. Akron outfielder Carlos Moncrief carried a nine-game hitting streak into Saturday's action and Class A (low) Lake County outfielder LeVon Washington had a seven-game streak.