8/10/2014 7:21 P.M. ET
Walters makes debut with Indians in left field
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Zach Walters was just happy to have his name in the starting lineup for his first game with the Indians. The fact that manager Terry Francona gave him the nod in left field at Yankee Stadium mattered little to the young infielder.
"I picked some good daisies out there," Walters said with a grin, following Cleveland's 4-1 win over New York on Sunday. "As long as I get to hit, I don't care where they play me. I'm not worried about it."
Walters did not do much (0-for-3 with a walk) in his debut with the Tribe, but Francona and the rest of the Cleveland brass are eager to be getting a first-hand look at the versatile player at the big league level. The Indians acquired the 24-year-old Walters from Washington on July 31 in the trade that sent veteran shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to the Nationals.
A middle infielder by trade, Walters has flashed a potent bat throughout his Minor League career. In 67 games at the Triple-A level this season, he launched 17 home runs with 56 RBIs.
"It's been a lot of power with some swing and miss," Francona said. "I've never seen him play [before Sunday], but I've talked to a number of scouts or baseball people since we acquired him that all say, 'Hey, way to go. Good job.' There's a lot to like. So, I'm kind of looking forward to it."
Walters is most experienced at shortstop and second base, but he has played some outfield in the Minors this season.
"He's played enough left field," Francona said, "where the guys that have seen him said, 'Don't hesitate to play him there.'"
Walters said the trade did not come as much of a surprise.
"I kind of suspected it a little bit -- to be honest -- from some things I heard," Walters said. "It feels like [Cleveland] was happy to have me and I kind of reiterate, everyone's been great. All of the staff, front office, the players, everyone's been kind of accepting. I think that's the biggest thing -- feeling comfortable."
Indians place Murphy, Swisher on 15-day DL
NEW YORK -- In the wake of losing a pair of veteran regulars to injury, Cleveland is counting on a spark from a couple of kids.
Prior to Sunday's game against the Yankees, the Indians placed outfielder David Murphy (right abdominal strain) and designated hitter Nick Swisher (right knee soreness) on the 15-day disabled list. Versatile infield prospect Zach Walters and outfielder Tyler Holt were called up from Triple-A Columbus to assume the vacated spots on the roster.
"You can look at it a couple ways," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "One, you can feel sorry for yourself that guys got hurt. Or you can look at younger guys, different guys, have a chance to shine. I think that's how we view it. This doesn't mean you can't win. We just might have to do it in a little different way."
Murphy and Swisher both exited Saturday's 3-0 victory over New York with their respective health issues. Murphy injured his side on a swing in his final at-bat in the fifth inning, and Swisher aggravated a knee problem that has been bothersome for the veteran for much of this season.
Murphy, who has hit .262 with seven home runs and 55 RBIs in 109 games this season, is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his side on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Swisher (batting .208 with a .278 on-base percentage in 97 games) is also expected to have an MRI on his ailing right knee this week.
Francona did not believe Swisher's injury would be of the season-ending variety.
"I don't think so," Francona said. "I think it's going to be something he's going to have to manage. And, when he feels good, he's going to have to continue to manage it. As you start to get, whether it's arthritic changes or with some wear and tear, he's going to have to take care of it. He's never had to deal with that before."
With the promotion of Walters, the Indians will be getting their first look at the recent trade acquisition at the big league level. Prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Cleveland plucked Walters from Washington's farm system in exchange for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
The 24-year-old Walters -- given the nod as the starting left fielder on Sunday -- has posted a .310/.361/.619 slash line with 17 home runs, 44 extra-base hits and 56 RBIs in 67 games between Triple-A Syracuse (Nationals) and Columbus this year. In seven games in Cleveland's system, Walters hit .387 with two homers, four doubles and eight RBIs.
Walters (most experienced as a middle infielder) hit .234 with a .797 OPS in 40 Major League games with Washington.
This will mark the third stint with the Tribe this season for Holt, who has just one at-bat in two games with Cleveland. In the Minors this year, the 25-year-old outfielder has turned in a .306/.419/.384 line with two homers, 22 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs, 31 stolen bases, 66 walks and 73 runs scored in 97 games between Double-A Akron and Columbus.
Quote to note
"He's nasty, man. He throws a fastball, he throws a cutter, he throws a two-seamer, a four-seamer, a slider. He mixes it up pretty good. I don't think he threw too many pitches over the middle of the plate. He's got control, didn't walk guys. He's a handful."
-- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on Indians starter Corey Kluber
• Indians right-hander Corey Kluber piled up 10 strikeouts and just one walk in Saturday's win over the Yankees. Kluber is only the 19th pitcher (36 times) in the past century to have at least six games in a season with a double-digit strikeout showing and no more than one walk. Kluber is the only pitcher in team history with more than four such games in one year.
• Indians outfielder Michael Brantley, who has been dealing with some leg soreness, remained in the lineup as the designated hitter for the third game in a row on Sunday. The injury has not hindered Brantley in the batter's box, where he has hit at a .429 clip (18-for-42) in his past 11 games.
• Outfielder prospect Carlos Moncrief went 2-for-4 with a home run in Triple-A Columbus' 5-3 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. On the season, Moncrief has hit .276/.328/.441 with 11 home runs, 41 extra-base hits, 56 runs and 59 RBIs in 112 games for the Clippers.
• With his fifth-inning free pass on Sunday, Indians first baseman Carlos Santana reached 400 career walks, becoming the 22nd player in Major League history to achieve that milestone in his first five seasons. Dating back to 1914, Santana is the 19th-fastest player to reach 400 walks, doing so in 606 career games.
• On Sunday, the Indians released right-handed reliever Frank Herrmann, who was signed by the organization as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 and posted a 4.26 ERA in 95 career games for Cleveland. The 30-year-old Herrmann missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and had a 6.37 ERA in 28 games for Triple-A Columbus this year.