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Indians news and notes (Friday, 5/16): Michael Brantley expected to return tonight

Dr. Smooth is expected back in the lineup tonight, and looks to give the offense a jolt.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In what was perhaps the most boring game of 2014, the Indians dropped the rubber match of their series in Toronto. They now face their toughest challenge of the young season, taking on the AL's three division leaders in the next three series. Will this make or break 2014? Hard to say, but it's still just May baseball, and there's a lot more to play.

Yesterday's game: Blue Jays 4, Indians 2

Indians news & notes

Brantley not expected to be out long | - Terry Francona held Michael Brantley out of the lineup for the series finale against Toronto, but says he'll likely be ready for the series opening today against the A's. Tito was taking precautions due to the stupid turf, but says he'll be "good to go" today.

Aguilar, family enjoying callup | - New Indians Big Scary Monster Jesus Aguilar called his mother in Venezuela when he got word of his callup to the majors. She cried tears of joy, for she knows Jesus was sent to absolve the Indians of their baseball sins.

The roller coaster ride that is John Axford |It's Pronounced "Lajaway" - IPL's Bendan Lowery takes a look at heat makes to attempt to figure out what is the deal with Axford's struggles this year.

Cursing umpire sets off Bourn | - Turns out swearing at Michael Bourn triggers his temper. He's been trying to keep it under control, but a heated exchange with home plate umpire Jerry Meals on Wednesday changed that.

Sudden Sam, Tribe's conflicted star | Waiting For Next Year - WFNY takes a look at the life of Indian pitcher Sam McDowell, whose potential Hall of Fame career was derailed by alcoholism, among other things.

Around MLB

Why are the darling Rays looking more like the Devil Rays? | Grantland - Sitting in last place in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays don't look like the team they were expected to be. Despite a decent offense, the Rays pitching staff has been ravaged by injuries and plagued by underperformance.

Rays place Zobrist on DL | Tampa Bay Times - Speaking of ravaged by injuries, the Rays placed 2B Ben Zobrist on the 15-day DL with a dislocated thumb, but he could actually be out longer.

Rangers' Perez to get TJ surgery | Twitter (Evan Grant) - Texas' Martin Perez is the latest in a long line of pitchers this year to suffer a UCL tear, necessitating Tommy John surgery. Has anyone calculated James Andrews' gross income for 2014 so far?

Baseball's little-known logo inconsistencies | Uni Watch - For all you logo and typography enthusiasts out there, Paul Lukas highlights a handful of teams whose logos differ depending on the application.

Early season overreactions | CBS Sports - Carlos Santana isn't the only one stinking up the joint this year - famed unicorn Mike Trout is also putting up some dreadful numbers. But, like Santana's, it's unlikely things continue that way.