7/22/2014 9:07 P.M. ET
Brantley named Heart and Hustle Award winner
By Alex M. Smith / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Michael Brantley was named the Cleveland Indians' winner of the Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday.
The award is given to one player from each MLB organization based on passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field. Currently in Minneapolis to play the Twins, Brantley reflected on his first All-Star Game appearance one week earlier at Target Field.
"It was probably one of the best experiences I've had in a long time," Brantley said. "This field's going to mean so much to me when I look back on my career. We had our first playoff berth here. I had my first All-Star Game here. It's just exciting."
The 27-year-old was able to bring his father, former Mariners outfielder Mickey Brantley, to the festivities.
"He taught me everything I know about baseball, from when I was born to now," Brantley said. "I'll always lean on him. He's seen way more than I've seen. He taught way more players, and I just cherish the memories that we're going to share together throughout this baseball process."
The way Brantley's been playing, there will likely be plenty more memories to make at the big league level.
Brantley is batting .328 entering Tuesday and has been especially hot in July. Over his past 15 games, he's hitting .410 (25-for-61) with three home runs and nine RBIs. The Tribe is 9-6 in those games, and Brantley said that the key to Cleveland's recent run has been teamwork.
"We're just leaning on one another," he said. "We're doing a great job of team chemistry, just picking one another up. And we're getting some timely hits. It's very important. If the team keeps doing that, we'll be just fine."
Fans, alumni and active players will vote to select this year's overall winner. Previous winners include David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, '07), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Trout (2012) and Dustin Pedroia (2013).
The winner will be announced on Nov. 18 at the 15th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year at 110 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.
Asdrubal day to day due to back issue
MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians manager Terry Francona described Asdrubal Cabrera's lower back as locked up on Tuesday, the night after Cabrera suffered spasms in the second inning of a 4-3 loss.
"He's pretty locked up," Francona said. "So we're gonna try to let him get in the training room, let them work on him, and hope it just kinda starts to loosen up. Because once it loosens up, the hope is, he'll be just fine."
Cabrera -- hitting .247 in 94 games this season -- is still day to day, but there's a chance the injury could last longer than the team hopes.
"If it persists, then we'll look into getting some help here," Francona said. "But I think we'd like him to get through tonight, and let him get a chance to let this thing calm down.
"I really don't think it's a DL thing. When I said, 'Get some help,' we could maybe do something else. It's hard for the trainers, because the first 24 hours, they're just trying to calm it down."
The temporary replacement at short will be Mike Aviles, who made only his seventh start at the position this season on Tuesday. Francona praised Aviles' ability to move all over the field.
"I've had people say he swings at too many pitches, or he doesn't walk enough," Francona said. "But there's so many things he does do. He plays left, right and center, second, third and short, and he plays 'em all professionally. So I think if you look at what he does do, it's very valuable to what we're doing."
Indians option Lee to Triple-A Columbus
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians made starter Danny Salazar's addition to the 25-man roster official on Tuesday, and reliever C.C. Lee was optioned to Triple-A Columbus as a result.
Lee, who was sent down in May and called back up in July, has made 15 appearances this season, giving up six earned runs in 12 2/3 innings. Manager Terry Francona said that the 27-year-old still has a bright future, but that Tommy John surgery in 2012 altered his progression.
"That kind of derailed his development," Francona said. "But he's a kid that at every level, he has to get his feet wet. And once he gets his feet wet and knows he belongs, he starts to really get after it."
Francona said Lee needs to improve his slider while down in the Minors.
"I still don't think we're seeing the slider that guys saw before, and when that fully comes back, man, he's a weapon because he's just so tough on righties," Francona said. "With his velocity and breaking ball, we should be able to let him face lefties, too. Not the majority of lefties, but if you have two righties and a lefty, he'll be just fine.
"It's still not a bad pitch, but it doesn't quite have the bite where you can wrap it around a left-handed hitter's back foot. He's just not quite able to get it there yet. But that'll come. There's just so much to like about him. We think his future is so bright."
Indians issue statement concerning news of Barron
CLEVELAND -- The Lorain County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday confirmed that the body found at the Lorain County Landfill is Cory Barron, a 22-year-old Fremont man last seen at the Jason Aldean concert at Progressive Field on Friday night.
Barron attended the concert with his parents and two siblings, who last saw him at the stadium between 8-9 p.m. that evening, according to Cleveland.com. No cause of death has been determined and the Cleveland Police Department investigation is ongoing.
"The Cleveland Indians are saddened by the news of Cory Barron's untimely death and wish to extend their sincere condolences to the Barron family and friends," the Cleveland Indians said in a statement. "We are cooperating with the authorities in their investigation and do not have additional comment at this time."
• Francisco Lindor -- ranked by MLB.com as the No. 9 prospect in baseball -- was promoted to Triple-A Columbus on Monday night. The shortstop hit .278 with six home runs and 48 RBIs at Double-A Akron this season.
"I thought it was coming," Francona said. "I think that's good for him, to let him see some older competition. Triple-A, you see that group each team has with the six-year free agents that are older, and veteran guys that have been in the big leagues. That'll be really good for him."
The team also promoted outfielder Erik Gonzalez to Akron on Monday.