Donald, Nix getting used to new positions
Early return of Cabrera shuffles Tribe's lineup
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians essentially had two guys playing out of position in Tuesday night's lineup, but both guys are going to have to get used to it.With Asdrubal Cabrera back, Jason Donald is now a second baseman by trade. While with Triple-A Columbus the first six weeks of the season, Donald received a healthy dose of second, but that was his first extended exposure to the position. And Cabrera's injury, which prompted Donald's promotion to the bigs, placed Donald back at the position where he's more comfortable. But Cabrera is locked in, and Donald will have to make the adjustment. His arm might be better-suited to second base, anyway. "It's a lot shorter throw," he said. "I have time to just knock it down, if I need to." Donald said the double-play pivot is the most difficult adjustment. "If I get it, I get hit," he said. "It's part of the game. I can't be afraid of the contact." The other guy out of position Tuesday was Jayson Nix, who was slotted into left field. Nix had only played one game in right field with the White Sox earlier this year. He's played just nine career games in the outfield. But now that Nix, who had become the regular second baseman before Cabrera's return, is slotting into more of a utility role, he, too, will have to adjust. "It's fine," Nix said. "They asked me if I could play out there, and I told them I could. It's no big deal at all."
Laffey dealing with pitching arm fatigue
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians are getting a look at Aaron Laffey to determine just how serious his "dead arm" period is.Laffey told reporters after Monday's win over the Twins that he's been dealing with arm fatigue in recent weeks, which would explain his noticeable dip in velocity during his last two starts. Laffey's fastball used to average out around 87 mph and top out around 90 or 91. Lately, he's been averaging in the low 80s and topping out at 87. He said he feels like his pitches have parachutes attached to them. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff examined Laffey before Tuesday's game. Manager Manny Acta said after the game that the Indians will likely have an MRI taken of Laffey's arm when the club returns to Cleveland. Should Laffey not be able to make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Rays, the Indians might have one less option down on the farm. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, the next arm in line to join the Tribe rotation, was pulled from his start for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday night in the fourth inning because of a stiff elbow. Laffey said Soloff's evaluation didn't reveal anything that "stands out." "I don't feel I'm injured," Laffey said. But the lowered velocity is a concern, and it has forced Laffey to change his approach as a pitcher. "Five miles per hour is a big difference," he said. "Usually, I change speeds with my sinker, but now they're all the same speed. Usually, my four-seamer and my sinker have a four to seven mile per hour difference, not including my changeup." Laffey (2-3, 4.62 in 25 appearances, including five starts) has been frustrated with his predicament, which could be related to his recent conversion from bullpen to starting work. And depending on how the evaluation goes, it could jeopardize his place in the Tribe rotation. "It is a concern," Acta said. "The main concern is to see if he's healthy or not."
Lewis designated for assignment on Tuesday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Jensen Lewis, whose roster spot was claimed by Asdrubal Cabrera, was designated for assignment Tuesday and not merely optioned back to Triple-A Columbus.Why? The Indians said it was a procedural move made necessary in part because Lewis had only been with the team three days since his recall from Columbus on Saturday. He was not placed on outright waivers but rather optional waivers, and the Indians were not anticipating losing him to the waiver wire. Rather, the Indians expect to be able to option Lewis to Columbus on Wednesday. Lewis made two appearances since his recall Saturday, allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
Entering Tuesday, rookie catcher Carlos Santana had outhomered reigning American League MVP Joe Mauer, six to four, despite having 203 fewer at-bats this season. ... The Indians began the second half 5-0 for the first time in their history. ... Right-hander Alex White, last year's No. 1 Draft pick (15th overall), struck out seven in seven innings of work in Double-A Akron's 4-1 win over Altoona. He allowed just a run on six hits with no walks. White has won his past three decisions and has a 1.07 ERA in that span. Opponents have hit just .198 off him at Class A Kinston and Akron this season. ... For more on the Tribe, visit the CastroTurf blog at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.