CLEVELAND -- Chris Perez was the Indians' full-time closer during Kerry Wood's absence, but it turned out to be a part-time role.In more than a month on the job, Perez had just six save opportunities. He didn't have any from April 20 to May 4. "Obviously, I would have liked to have a couple more opportunities in save situations," Perez said. "But I can't control that." Perez is in a setup role now that Wood is off the disabled list, but he could be back in the closer's role if the Indians make a trade involving Wood this summer or if they turn elsewhere for the ninth-inning duties in 2011. So consider the season's first month to be the 24-year-old Perez's audition. He went 4-for-6 in save opportunities and posted a 2.89 ERA in 11 appearances. All four of his saves came against the White Sox. He blew the save April 11 in Detroit and Wednesday against the Blue Jays. "[Moving from the closer's role to a setup role] could be a blessing in disguise," Perez said. "I'll be able to still get in the game, even when we're losing, and try to keep us close." Perez learned a thing or two about the accountability that comes with being a closer. To his credit, he was always at his locker postgame, even after the blown saves. But he made some headlines when he critiqued catcher Lou Marson in the season's first week and said some colorful things about the Angels' Howard Kendrick's game-winning bunt single April 28. "I tell the truth and how I think it is," Perez said. "Either you like it or you don't. You can't please everybody all the time."
Indians play it safe with Cabrera
CLEVELAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera was back in the Indians' lineup Saturday, but only briefly.Cabrera was a late scratch by manager Manny Acta because of the wet conditions at Progressive Field. Mark Grudzielanek replaced him in the leadoff spot, and Luis Valbuena moved from second base to shortstop. Cabrera has been out of the lineup since Tuesday because of soreness in his left quadriceps muscle. The leg has bothered Cabrera all week. He said he injured it in the first inning of Sunday's loss to the Twins, when he singled off Francisco Liriano and advanced to third on Liriano's throwing error. "I played through it for a couple days," Cabrera said. Cabrera is batting .311 with six doubles, a homer and four RBIs this season.
Lost-stats dilemma cuts both ways
CLEVELAND -- From the "tree falls in the forest" school of thinking, if four innings are played in the rain and the stats don't count, did the action really occur?That was probably too deep a philosophical question for the Indians to ponder Saturday morning, especially on short rest. Still, they had to be asking themselves if positive signs undone by rain are still positive signs. Indians manager Manny Acta thinks so. Among other things, he saw Travis Hafner crank out a three-run home run (his second homer in as many games), Grady Sizemore hit his first home run since Aug. 27, 2009, and his offense churn out five runs in the third inning Friday night. Alas, none of the above counted because the four innings that were played were washed away by rain. "I feel bad for those guys," Acta said. "They lose the stats. But it's not about stats. It builds confidence. They know they did it." As Sizemore said, sometimes the rain gives and sometimes it takes. "Obviously you don't want it to work out like that," he said. "But it goes the other way sometimes, too. There are games where you're struggling and it ends up not counting."
The Indians have yet to announce a firm reschedule date for Friday's rained-out ballgame with the Tigers. Manager Manny Acta, however, said the two clubs were leaning toward playing the rescheduled game in July, when the Tigers come back to town after the All-Star break. ... Outfielder Nick Weglarz had a career-high six RBIs in Double-A Akron's 12-7 win over Reading on Friday night. Weglarz has hit in 12 of 13 games and is batting .315 with a .980 OPS on the season. ... To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cleveland Baseball Federation, KeyBank is conducting a baseball glove drive this month. Fans wishing to support youth baseball in Cleveland can donate a new or gently used glove at any of the Northeast Ohio KeyBank branches through May 19 or at Progressive Field on May 23.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.