DETROIT -- Carlos Santana got the call.Not the call so many Indians fans are anticipating for the club's top prospect. This was a recent call from manager Manny Acta, who wanted to gauge the Triple-A catcher's thoughts on some of the arms in the top level of the Tribe's farm system. But Acta had another motive with that call. Because while he certainly wanted to hear about the likes of Carlos Carrasco, Frank Herrmann and Josh Tomlin to get a sense of the stuff behind the numbers in the early going this season, he also wanted to hear how well Santana is able to recognize the progress, strengths and weaknesses of his pitchers. "We went through some good things," Acta said. "He could bring up different things a guy is doing this year that he wasn't doing last year. But it's very tough to grade guys down there and know what they're going to do up here. It's a big jump." It's a jump Santana figures to make soon. His bat is certainly ready for the bigs, as evidenced by his .318 average and 1.026 OPS. But Santana has strides to make with his throwing, and he's still learning how to handle a pitching staff and call a game. The Indians are stressing the importance of his defensive development before he gets the real call to the bigs, not just a call from the big league skipper.
Herrmann puts himself on Tribe's radar
DETROIT -- Triple-A numbers can be hard to gauge. They obviously don't always translate to Major League success.But even when one factors in that warning, Tribe right-handed pitching prospect Frank Herrmann's 0.31 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .156 average against in 28 2/3 innings over 19 appearances out of the Triple-A Columbus bullpen entering Wednesday are impossible numbers to ignore. "Even in Little League," manager Manny Acta said, "those are good numbers." Numbers that seem certain to earn Herrmann, a guy signed by the Tribe as an undrafted free agent in 2005, a Major League callup at some point this season. The Indians are still trying to figure out the middle of their bullpen. Chris Perez and Tony Sipp are established as the setup men for Kerry Wood, but the rest has been a bit of a mess, especially the past month. Acta is waiting for at least two guys out of left-hander Rafael Perez and right-handers Jensen Lewis, Jamey Wright and Hector Ambriz to step up and effectively bridge the gap to Perez and Sipp. Perhaps the 25-year-old Herrmann, a strike-thrower whose velocity picked up a tick with his move to the bullpen last year, will get his shot soon. "Frank is going to get a shot here," Acta said. "He has earned it."
The Indians haven't set a date for Grady Sizemore's pending knee surgery. It will be performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., either late this week or early next week. Sizemore is in Cleveland at present. ... Tuesday's win over the Tigers snapped a seven-game losing streak in Motown for the Tribe. ... SportsTime Ohio will replay Saturday's comeback victory over the Yankees, which included the scary incident in which David Huff was hit in the head by an Alex Rodriguez line drive, on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. ET. ... STO will also televise Monday's game against the Red Sox. ESPN was originally slated to carry the game but dropped it from its broadcast schedule.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.