Notes: Wedge giving regulars a break
Skipper hopes extra rest will keep them fresh later on in year
ARLINGTON -- Rookie Mike Rouse started in place of shortstop Jhonny Peralta on Friday, as Indians manager Eric Wedge began an effort to give his regulars at least one day off during the current stretch of 17 consecutive games without a scheduled break."It's a little tough on us coming out of the break," Wedge said. "I'm going to work through our guys and rotate them and try to give them each a day off."
Will that effort extend even to All-Star center fielder Grady Sizemore, who on Friday played his 292nd consecutive game?
"No," Wedge admitted with a laugh. "Although, at some point in time, we might take a look at it."
If Sizemore is to get a day off this season, it most likely would come during an even longer stretch of 23 games in 23 days from Aug. 21-Sept. 12. The lone off day that had been scheduled in that span was lost as a makeup date for one of the four games with Seattle snowed out in early April.
C.C. vs. Dice-K: As the rotations now stand, Indians fans will be treated to a premier pitching matchup next Tuesday at Jacobs Field. Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia (13-4) is scheduled to oppose the highly touted Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-7) in the second game of a four-game series with the AL East-leading Red Sox.Does participating in such a premium matchup matter to Sabathia?
"If I was hitting against him, it might," Sabathia said. "But I'm more worried about Manny [Ramirez] and [David] Ortiz than 'Dice-K.'"
Fultz progressing slowly: LHP Aaron Fultz, on the disabled list since straining a muscle in his right-rib cage on June 24, still isn't close to returning to action. Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said Fultz is scheduled to throw from 90 feet on flat ground Saturday in Cleveland, and still would have to lengthen that program to 125 feet before taking the next step of returning to a bullpen mound. Fultz needs to throw from a mound at least once without pain before being sent out on a Minor League rehab assignment.This Sunday will mark four weeks since Fultz was hurt, putting him on the far end of the standard recovery time from such an injury.
"Generally, an intercostal injury such as this can take anywhere from two to six weeks [to heal]," Soloff said. "Because of some additional bleeding in the area [detected by a recent CT scan], this one is taking more time than either he or we would like."
Here's the question: What is the Indians' club record for runs scored in a game against the Texas Rangers' franchise?Down on the farm: Triple-A Buffalo RHP Adam Miller was hit hard, eight runs on 11 hits in four innings, Thursday in a 15-6 loss to Charlotte. ... The Double-A Akron Aeros' game against Reading was rained out, the first time this month that OF Trevor Crowe [.333 3-for-11 in July] had been cooled off. ... Class A Kinston had 12 hits but lost a 6-3 decision to Potomac and had to settle for a four-game split. ... LF Nicholas Weglarz went 1-for-2 with two walks in a 3-0 loss to Greensboro, extending his on-base streak to 35 consecutive games. RBI props: Congratulations to the Cleveland Larry Doby RBI club, which won the Mid-Atlantic Senior Division Regional R.B.I. (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Tournament last weekend in Pittsburgh. The 19-and-under boys players were selected in tryouts among those playing for Cleveland Baseball Federation Connie Mack/RBI teams. The Cleveland club advances to the R.B.I. World Series, set for Aug. 7-12 in Compton, Calif.
The Cleveland RBI Senior Girls team finished as runner-up in the girls' Fast Pitch Softball Mid-Atlantic tournament.
Tribe tidbits: Wedge laughed at hearing word that former Indians CF Kenny Lofton said he was willing to play left field alongside Sizemore if Cleveland acquired him from Texas for a playoff run. "Is he sending a message?" Wedge asked, chuckling. "OK, that's good to know." ... LF Franklin Gutierrez was back in the starting lineup, after missing Thursday's start because of back stiffness. "It was a little bit tight," he said. "I don't know if it was from the trip or what, but it's fine today." ... RF Trot Nixon entered Friday batting .255 with seven RBIs in 20 games since his 0-for-20 skid of June 9-16. "Derek [hitting coach Derek Shelton] and Trot have done a few things," Wedge said. "They've kind of tweaked his approach and it's done him some good." Wedge said it may not be possible to know how much productivity Nixon has left until he gets a full off-season to recover from last December's back surgery.And the answer is: The Indians' highest scoring output ever against the Rangers' franchise was 15 runs, on Sept. 2, 1963, when the future Texas-based opponents were still the Washington Senators. Yes, the Indians also hung on to win, taking a 15-3 triumph in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland Stadium as Woodie Held, Larry Brown and Joe Adcock drove in three runs apiece to make a complete-game winner of Jack Kralick. Up next: Indians LHP Cliff Lee (5-6, 5.67) is scheduled to face Rangers RHP Jamey Wright (3-2, 4.31) in the third installment of this four-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Ken Daley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.