MINNEAPOLIS -- Mitch Talbot might not have liked the results, but he was happy with the way he felt after throwing a bullpen session at Target Field on Monday.That session was the last step in determining whether Talbot, working his way back from right shoulder soreness, is ready to rejoin the Tribe rotation as scheduled on Thursday at home against the Royals. Talbot said he's good to go. "I was all over the place," Talbot said. "But the ball was coming out firm, and I feel good. That's all we're looking for right now." Talbot left his start against the Twins on Sept. 12 after facing just three batters and didn't pick up a ball for a week. When he faces the Royals, he hopes to show improvement not only on the physical side but the performance side, as he is 1-3 with a 6.84 ERA over his last six starts.
Cabrera day-to-day after straining left wrist
MINNEAPOLIS -- Asdrubal Cabrera is still trying to feel whole again after missing two months with a fractured left forearm earlier this season. Now, he has a strained left wrist to go with it.Cabrera rolled his wrist while fielding Michael Cuddyer's single to the hole behind short in the fifth inning of Monday night's 9-3 loss to the Twins. X-rays were negative, and Cabrera is listed as day-to-day. Though in obvious pain as he landed awkwardly on the wrist, Cabrera shook it off and remained in the game. But when he tried to take a few swings in the indoor cages, the pain got the best of him. He was replaced in the top of the seventh by pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena. "I took a couple swings and felt it," Cabrera said. "We'll see how I feel [Tuesday]. But the X-rays were good. No bone broke." Manager Manny Acta said the Indians would have to revisit the situation Tuesday to determine if Cabrera is fit to play. Cabrera is batting .263 with three homers and 24 RBIs this season.
Hafner sits, but says his shoulder is fine
MINNEAPOLIS -- Travis Hafner's right shoulder issues and trouble with left-handers have made him a part-time player, as evidenced once again when he was rested in Sunday's day game after a night game in Kansas City and Monday against lefty Brian Duensing.Both Hafner and manager Manny Acta said Pronk's shoulder is "fine," and Hafner is expected to be in the lineup each of the next five games, until the Indians face Royals lefty Bruce Chen on Sunday. But, obviously, the shoulder has been closely monitored this season, and especially since Hafner came back from the disabled list after a bout with shoulder inflammation in August. Hafner is essentially limited to playing four or five days a week. Are the Indians expecting similar restrictions on their designated hitter next season? "Hopefully not," Acta said. "We just want to make sure he gets through this whole season as healthy as possible." Acta said he doesn't feel it will be necessary for the Indians to have a platoon situation at the DH spot next season. "Our thought process is that Travis is our DH if he's healthy," Acta said.
Plenty of Tribe players use maple bats
MINNEAPOLIS -- The controversy over maple bats is gaining momentum once again, following an incident Sunday in which Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was struck in the chest by a shard of a shattered bat belonging to teammate Wellington Castillo.For the last several years, maple bats have been under scrutiny by MLB for the explosive nature in which they shatter and the inherent dangers involved. Tests were conducted and new regulations were implemented on the bats to limit the number of breaks, but they remain highly popular among players. Tribe clubhouse manager Tony Amato estimated that about 75 percent of Indians players use the bats at least part of the time. One of those players, Travis Hafner, said he uses them because they tend to last longer than their ash counterparts. "But you hate to see bats flying around," Hafner said. "It's a safety issue." Shin-Soo Choo, who, like Hafner, uses maple bats exclusively, said that although he prefers what he deems to be the firmer wood provided by maple bats, he wouldn't be upset if MLB banned the bats outright. "If everybody has to use the same [kind of bat]," he said, "it doesn't matter to me."
Michael Brantley took a 19-game hitting streak into Monday's game. It would have been a 27-game streak, had Brantley not gone 0-for-1 as a defensive sub on Aug. 29. ... The Society for American Baseball Research notes that Brantley is hitting .286 during the streak. Only four players have ever had a 20-plus-game hitting streak in which they hit below .300 -- Tommie Agee (.288 over 20 games in 1970), Eddie Foster (.295 over 21 games in 1918), Jimmy Wolf (.299 over 31 games in 1885-86) and George Case (.299 over 20 games in 1941). ... The Indians had made just four errors over their last 12 games, entering Monday.