8/15/2014 7:10 P.M. ET
Francona approves of choice for new Commissioner
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona does not know Rob Manfred as well as he knows Commissioner Bud Selig, but he was pleased with the news that Manfred will assume Selig's post beginning next season.
Following a conversation with Indians team president Mark Shapiro on Friday, Francona felt confident that the owners made the right choice in Thursday's vote to name the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer, will formally take over for Selig on Jan. 25, becoming the 10th Commissioner in baseball history.
"I know his reputation is really, really good," Francona said on Sunday. "What I ultimately cared about was not the name of the Commissioner. What I care about is the well-being of the game and I know from talking to Mark today for a while, it seems like we're in pretty good hands. That's what I really care about. I want out game to flourish."
Francona, who knows Selig from their days with the Brewers organization, praised the current Commissioner for the work he has done over the past 22 years.
"I've been one of his bigger fans," Francona said. "Again, there's a lot of history there. I think he's led baseball through some kind of tumultuous times, and he's probably taken some heat sometimes when maybe it's probably a lose-lose situation. But I think he's also brought baseball through those tumultuous times [and to] a pretty healthy place.
"I can't imagine trying to please 30 owners and 30 teams, especially the way baseball is set up with some of the so-called 'haves' or 'have nots' -- however you want to put it -- the disparity. You're never going to please everybody, and I think Mr. Selig has done a really good job of getting things done, because that's really hard. You can be the smartest guy in the world, but if you can't get stuff done, it doesn't really help."
Salazar slated for finale as House heads to bullpen
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have been shuffling their rotation for much of the second half, and that will continue with the current series against the Orioles.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona announced Friday that right-hander Danny Salazar will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus to start on Sunday against Baltimore. As a result, left-hander T.J. House (originally slated to start Sunday) will temporarily shift to the bullpen.
The timing of House's next start is somewhat dependent on Corey Kluber's upcoming schedule. With a scheduled off-day on Monday, Kluber could come back on normal rest to start on Wednesday or he could start Thursday with an extra day of rest.
"We just think it makes sense after Klubes pitches [Friday], to check with him [Saturday], see how he's feeling, see what's in his best interest physically, and then we'll kind of work off that," Francona said. "It's really easy to say, 'You've got a guy hot, let's pitch him every time we can.'
"I think we need to use some common sense, and if he is good to pitch, good. But if an extra day helps, we'll do it."
Salazar, 24, was optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 7 after allowing five runs (all on two home runs) in four innings of a loss to the Reds on Aug. 6. At the time, the Indians indicated that the hard-throwing righty would make one start in the Minors before possibly returning to Cleveland after Monday's off-day.
That schedule has changed for Salazar, who held Lehigh Valley to one earned run on five hits over seven innings on Tuesday. The righty struck out nine, issued no walks and logged 96 pitches in the outing. Salazar is 4-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 12 starts for the Tribe this season, but has gone 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA in his four most recent starts in the big leagues.
Quote to note
"It's probably not an understatement [to say] that he's an above-average first baseman. I don't know if Carlos always looks that athletic. Sometimes he's got his pocket hanging out or his zipper down, but he's very athletic. I think it's starting to show."
-- Francona, on Carlos Santana
• The Indians allowed the Pirates to claim right-hander John Axford off trade waivers on Thursday, putting Pittsburgh on the hook for the remainder of his $4.5-million salary. General manager Chris Antonetti noted that Cleveland tried to make a trade, but the team ultimately felt the chance to give innings to younger arms outweighed acquiring a Minor Leaguer.
"We talked through a variety of alternatives with the Pirates," Antonetti said on Friday. "But I think what enabled us to make the [move] was our belief in some of the other guys that have come up and performed. C.C. Lee and Nick Hagadone, specifically, have come up and done a very good job."
• Designated hitter Nick Swisher (15-day disabled list) is scheduled to have his ailing right knee examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Antonetti said it is hard to know how much of Swisher's offensive struggles (.208/.278/.331 slash line in 97 games) can be attributed to the knee issues this season.
"I think it's been a big part of it," Antonetti said. "Maybe Nick only knows for certain how much and how long he's been battling through it beyond what would be typical for a season. There's no question that he's had some injuries and battled through and played with for a while. I'm sure it's had some impact on it."
• Outfielder and No. 5 prospect James Ramsey, who was acquired from the Cardinals on July 30 in exchange for starter Justin Masterson, went 5-for-5 with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. Ramsey has hit .314 with two homers, seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs through 13 games for the Clippers.
"He's made a great impression," Antonetti said. "All the things we had heard about him and his makeup and character before we acquired him, that's been reinforced in our time with him so far. We're excited that he's with us."