MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians are getting closer to having their closer back, but it's still going to be a little while.

Kerry Wood, recovering from a strained back muscle, threw his first simulated session and faced hitters Tuesday at Target Field, and he'll throw another one Friday in Oakland.

"We'll evaluate him after that and then make our decision," manager Manny Acta said.

The decision will be whether to send Wood on a Minor League rehab assignment, activate him or perhaps have him throw another sim game. Acta has made it clear to reporters that he sees value in Wood pitching in game situations before he comes back, as he only appeared in two Spring Training games before the injury occurred.

Peralta moved down in lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jhonny Peralta became the first fall guy for the Indians' offensive struggles, in that he fell in the lineup Wednesday night against the Twins.

Peralta opened the season as the Tribe's No. 5 hitter, but he was in the No. 7 spot against left-hander Francisco Liriano. Right-handed-hitting left fielder Austin Kearns was bumped up to the cleanup spot with the lefty on the mound.

"I spoke with Jhonny," manager Manny Acta said. "He's scuffling. Once he gets right, he'll move back up."

But Peralta isn't the only one scuffling. The Indians entered Wednesday's action ranking last in baseball with a .214 team average, last in the American League with a .338 slugging percentage and second to last in the AL with 46 runs scored and a .303 on-base percentage.

Leadoff man Asdrubal Cabrera (.291 average, .698 OPS) and, to a larger extent, No. 3 hitter Shin-Soo Choo (.318, 1.123) had carried the load, while No. 2 hitter Grady Sizemore (.209 average, .664 OPS) and Travis Hafner (.233, .728) hadn't exactly held up their end of the bargain.

"We're struggling offensively, it's no secret," Acta said. "We've been surviving with good pitching and our defense. We've been relying on Choo and Cabrera too much."

Santana day-to-day with bruised knee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Triple-A Columbus catcher Carlos Santana, the Tribe's top prospect, fouled a ball off his left knee in the third inning of Wednesday's game against Louisville and had to leave the game.

The Indians announced Santana suffered a bruise and is day-to-day.

The switch-hitting Santana is batting .364 with four homers, four doubles, 14 RBIs and a 1.167 OPS through 12 games this season. He had offseason surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his right hand.

It is expected that Santana will join the Indians at some point before September this season.

Worth noting

Tribe Rule 5 Draft pickup Hector Ambriz (right elbow tendinitis) has made four appearances for Triple-A Columbus on his rehab assignment and has yet to allow a run in four innings. He's struck out eight and allowed four hits. ... Thursday's 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Twins will be on MLB Network in addition to MLB.TV. ... Entering Wednesday, the Tribe's pitching staff had allowed 99 hits, tied with the Yankees for the fewest in the Majors. The bullpen had allowed just three of 29 inherited runners to score, leading the Majors. ... Class A Kinston's team ERA of 2.32 entering Wednesday led the Carolina League. ... For more news and notes on the Tribe, visit the CastroTurf blog at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.