ARLINGTON -- The Indians were not able to reel in an extra bat before Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline expired, but the ballclub is banking on having one of its own hitters back in the fold in the near future.
On Friday at Rangers Ballpark, sidelined right fielder Shin-Soo Choo took batting practice on the field with the team for the first time since breaking his left thumb. A Minor League rehab assignment could be right around the corner.
"It is realistic," Indians manager Manny Acta said before Friday's game against the Rangers. "I think a lot's going to depend on how he swings the bat today and how he feels tomorrow. But it is realistic that he could start a rehab assignment pretty soon."
Acta did not rule out sending Choo out on rehab after the conclusion of the Tribe's current road trip, which ends with Sunday's nightcap in Texas. Choo has been out of the lineup since having his left thumb broken by a pitch on June 24 in San Francisco.
On the season, Choo has hit .244 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 72 games. Prior to landing on the 15-day disabled list with the hand injury, though, the Tribe's star right fielder was hitting .316 over his past 12 games.
Choo has stated that his goal is to be back in the Indians' lineup in time for the Aug. 16-18 road series against the White Sox. Acta has yet to shed light on when the ballclub expects the right fielder to make his return.
Another of Cleveland's ailing outfielders, Michael Brantley, also took part in pregame batting practice on Friday afternoon. Brantley was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game due to a sore right wrist, but Acta noted that the left fielder/center fielder might be an option off the bench.
Acta did not have an update on injured center fielder Grady Sizemore, who is on the 15-day disabled list recovering from a right knee injury and surgery to repair a sports hernia. Sizemore, who underwent the hernia operation on July 21, has yet to resume baseball activities.
"He's resting," Acta said. "He's rehabbing. I'll give you more in two weeks."
Indians place Hannahan on paternity list
ARLINGTON -- Jack Hannahan left the Indians on Thursday night to be at the side of his expecting wife.
On Friday, Cleveland placed Hannahan on Major League Baseball's new paternity leave list, which grants players between 24-72 hours to attend to the birth of their children. Hannahan joined his wife, Jenny, in Cleveland.
Indians manager Manny Acta said the bench was still in good shape in Hannahan's absence. For Friday's game against the Rangers, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was on the bench and utility infielder Jason Donald got the nod at third.
"We have an extra infielder still with Lonnie on the bench today," Acta said on Friday. "[Hannahan] is very important to us, because of the defensive part. We use him at the end of a game when we're ahead. That being said, Donald is a shortstop by trade and he's playing third base."
With Hannahan temporarily off the Tribe's active roster, the Indians recalled outfielder Shelley Duncan from Triple-A Columbus. Duncan has hit .240 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in previous tours with Cleveland this season.
Duncan was in Friday's starting lineup against the Rangers, serving as the designated hitter.
Hannahan is batting .213 with five homers, 12 doubles and 23 RBIs in 84 games for Cleveland this season.
Germano signs with Korean baseball team
ARLINGTON -- A little more than a week after throwing a perfect game for Triple-A Columbus, pitcher Justin Germano has opted for an opportunity overseas.
On Friday, the Indians announced that Germano had signed with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization. Germano's agent asked for and was granted permission from Clevelend to explore other jobs for the right-hander.
According to a report on MyKBO.net, the 28-year-old Germano signed with the Lions for $210,000, including a $50,000 bonus.
Germano, who opened this season in the Indians' bullpen, appeared in nine games (5.68 ERA) for the Tribe before being designated for assignment in May. In 16 appearances (six starts) for Columbus, he went 1-2 with a 4.22 ERA. Germano threw a perfect game against Syracuse on July 26.
In six big league seasons, Germano has posted a 5.02 ERA between stints with the Indians, Padres and Reds. Last year, the righty had a 3.31 ERA with 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings across 35 1/3 innings for Cleveland.
Quote to note
"I'll be OK. Plus, I've already done four extended springs in Florida and three years in the Florida State League. This is right at home for me." -- Indians manager Manny Acta, on the extremely hot conditions in Texas
Right-hander Mitch Talbot, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, cleared waivers and has been sent outright to Triple-A Columbus. Talbot had no previous outrights, so the pitcher had to accept the Minor League assignment. Talbot is 2-6 with a 6.33 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians this season.
Designated hitter Travis Hafner, who had played in each of Cleveland's past 11 games, received a routine day off from being in the starting lineup on Friday. "He needs it," Acta said. "We need to keep him fresh for the long run. We can't run him down into the ground." Acta noted that Hafner would be back in the lineup on Saturday in Texas.
With temperatures expected to exceed triple digits each day this weekend in Texas, the Indians are taking extra precautions to make sure their players are prepared for the heat. Cleveland has altered its pregame hitting and conditioning routines, and the training staff will be monitoring the players' pregame and postgame weight. If needed, players will be able to receive fluids intravenously.