Last Night's Game
The reprogramming was a success apparently. Corey Kluber has actually been the weak link in the rotation of late, but last night's performance should quell any fears that his previous couple starts presaged a decline due to tiredness (he's already blown past his previous innings high) or a physical ailment. Last night's performance ranks up there with his best starts of the year, and that's saying something. He very easily could have had a Maddux(tm) if Jesus Aguilar doesn't make that error in the third inning, as he made only 104 pitches on the evening.
With both the Royals and Tigers losing yesterday, the Indians have somewhat recovered from this week's series against the Tigers, although the odds are still rather long for them. They now sit 5 games behind in the Royals (and three behind the Tigers) in the AL Central, and 4.5 behind the Mariners for the second wild card. They're going to really have to make hay in their final series against Detroit and Kansas City, but the Indians still have a pulse, and the way this club is pitching, they certainly are capable are getting on a roll.
If this weren't September (because the 25-man roster goes away, there's no point in using the 7-day or 15-day Disabled List), Aviles would have placed on the 7-day concussion DL. That's why Justin Sellers was brought up even with the Clippers still in the playoffs.
Barring any further injuries, it looks like Francisco Lindor will not be joining the Indians now that the Clippers have been eliminated the playoffs. Lindor does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster, so that's probably one of the reasons, but Jose Ramirez's fine play also has much to do with it.
Latest 25-man/40-man roster
I've changed the format a bit because of the expanded rosters, but you should get the idea.
With Justin Sellers now with the major-league club, there's only four players on the 40-man roster but not on the major-league roster (or Disabled List), and I can't really make a case why the Indians would need any of them down the stretch. Carlos Moncrief would be mainly a defensive replacement at the end of the games, but the Indians already have Tyler Holt on the roster. Scott Barnes just came off the minor-league DL, and besides, the Indians already have three left-handed relievers on the roster. Nick Maronde is a bit of a reclamation project now, and Erik Gonzalez just got his first AA experience in the last couple months.
AL Central News
The Indians have seen the last of Paul Konerko, as a broken bone in his left hand will sideline him at least through the next week. Konerko was on the field yesterday to receive a custom guitar from the Indians (click through to see pictures).
Danny Duffy, who has been one of the best pitchers in the AL this season, left after throwing just one pitch. The injury has been initially diagnosed as shoulder soreness, and they'll know more specifics after an MRI. Perhaps it's just something minor, but any time a pitcher has a shoulder problem it's a huge concern.
Avila has been out since he took a foul tip to the mask this Tuesday. He might return to the lineup today.
Some of the names we'll be seeing this week when the Twins come to town.