Monday, July 23, 2018 Medina 65°

Tribe Notes

Indians notes: Next step for Miller could be activation from disabled list


CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Andrew Miller (patellar tendinitis right knee) threw a simulated game Monday at Progressive Field. 

According to manager Terry Francona, the next step will take place Thursday and it could include Miller’s activation from the disabled list.

“We need to work through whether it’s in a real game or a sim game,” Francona said. “We just need some time to get Andrew, (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway), myself, the medical guys together later today or maybe even (Wednesday) ‘cause we want to see how he bounces back (from Monday’s simulated game), but it will be Thursday, and those are the two choices.”

Miller is in the midst of his second stint on the injured list with the injury. His first comeback attempt ended after two appearances toward the end of August.

Status report

Rookie center fielder Bradley Zimmer underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand Tuesday in New York.

Francona said Zimmer would be re-examined in two weeks, but wouldn’t confirm that the outfielder’s season is over despite a report Monday that said that was the case.

“The timetable (doctors) put on return-to-play was like 6-8 weeks, but rather than just ... in two weeks we’ll let him get looked at it, see what he’s able to do and let him do as much as he can and see where it goes,” Francona said. “I mean last year (catcher Yan Gomes) was supposedly done for the year and he played, so rather than ... we just want to get him better.”

Put me in, coach

Jason Kipnis’ first appearance in center field could come as early as Sunday. Kipnis, who is on the disabled list for the second time with a right hamstring strain, has worked out in center the past two days and will continue through at least Saturday. 

“He’s pushing to play Sunday. I think the trainers are maybe looking at Tuesday,” Francona said of Kipnis. “That’s sort of a general timetable. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes out (in center field) and does just fine. That’s kind of how I feel about it.”

Old job

Though he currently resides in the bullpen, Francona said right-hander Danny Salazar is a candidate to make a spot start before the season is complete. 

“We have a couple of days coming up that we’re going to give some (starting pitchers) an extra day, so we would have a day where we need a starter,” Francona said. “So depending on how we get there, it would either be he or (left-hander Ryan) Merritt. So some of that depends on how we get there. If we use him in a game, if we do a sim game, so we’ll get to it.”

Salazar, an All-Star starter this year, made his first appearance Monday since being sent to the bullpen, working two scoreless innings.    

Mark it down

Major League Baseball released the 2018 schedule Tuesday, with the Indians set to open the season March 29 in Seattle, while hosting the Royals in the Home Opener, April 6.

The first homestand will be 10 games long and will be followed by a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a two-game series against the Twins
(April 17-18).

Cleveland’s interleague opponents include National League Central Division opponents, the Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Brewers and Cardinals.  

Roundin’ third

The Indians entered Tuesday owning the largest run differential in the majors (plus-218), over 50 higher than the Dodgers, who own baseball’s best record. ... Since July 21, right-hander Trevor Bauer is 9-0 (in 10 starts) with a 2.53 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 19 walks, leading the majors in wins and ranking sixth in strikeouts over the span. ... Today, 12:10, STO; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM. Clevinger (9-5, 3.30) vs. Farmer (4-2, 6.32).

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or Like him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.

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