October 20, 2014

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Tribe notes: Dellucci’s return not a sure thing

CLEVELAND — The prospect of outfielder David Dellucci returning to help the Indians is beginning to look bleak.
Though manager Eric Wedge said Thursday that Dellucci would accompany the team on its upcoming 10-game road trip (beginning Monday in Minnesota), he did not sound optimistic that Dellucci was ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment.
Dellucci has not played since straining a hamstring on June 19, an injury that required surgery. He said he was optimistic he could begin a rehab assignment in early September, but has been limited to light running and hitting in the batting cage.
Time is running out on Dellucci, who, in his debut season with the Indians, has struggled to a .234 batting average, four home runs and 20 RBIs in 54 games prior to the injury.
With the final month of the regular season already under way, he needs to begin a rehab assignment soon in order to be an option for a potential playoff roster spot. Even if he is able to return to the field, he would need to prove he is healthy enough to warrant one.

Back in there

Josh Barfield, who started 110 games for the Indians at second base before being replaced by Asdrubal Cabrera, was back in the lineup Friday, batting ninth in the series opener against the White Sox.
It was Barfield’s first start since Aug. 14, a string of 15 games.
“He needs to get in there,” Wedge said. “He’s handled everything great. He’s been working hard.”
Barfield entered Friday batting .243 with three homers and
49 RBIs in 118 games.

Don’t call me

Closer Joe Borowski was not available Friday after pitching three straight days and four of the last five. Wedge said Rafael Betancourt would handle the closer duties in place of Borowski, who has appeared in 58 games, logging 542/3 innings.
“When you’re playing a lot of close games and you’re winning, you’re going to run into this,” Wedge said.
Borowski’s career-high innings count (952/3) came in 2002 as a setup man for the Cubs.
August has been a rough month for Borowski, who is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in 15 games, converting 10 of 13 save opportunities.

Eject button

Wedge drew his second ejection of the season Thursday, arguing from the dugout with home plate umpire Sam Holbrook over what he perceived to be a balk in the fourth inning.
It was the 19th time in four-plus years as Indians manager that Wedge has been tossed.

Coming up

Bellevue grad Brad Snyder was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Snyder, who hit .263 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 86 games for Buffalo, has not played since breaking his right thumb July 27. If healthy, he’s expected to be activated rosters are expanded.

Minor details

Double-A Akron clinched the final spot in the Eastern League Southern Division Championship Series on Thursday, beating Bowie (Orioles) 4-3 behind right fielder Stephen Head’s 2-for-4, three-RBI performance. The Aeros will play first-place Erie (Tigers) in the opening round.
Class A Kinston placed five representatives on the Carolina League’s postseason All-Star team, headlined by Mike Sarbaugh, who was named manager of the year. Sarbaugh was joined by third baseman Wes Hodges (.282, 15 HRs, 70 RBIs), shortstop Josh Rodriguez (.262, 20 HRs, 80 RBIs), catcher Max Ramirez (.303, 12 HRs, 62 RBIs) and pitcher Scott Roehl (4-0, 2.72 ERA, 23 saves). Ramirez was traded to Texas for Kenny Lofton. Kinston entered Friday at 83-52, winning the Southern Division’s first-half title and leading in the second-half standings.

Roundin’ third

Today is the first day teams are eligible to expand their rosters to 40 players, with the Indians expected to promote a handful of players from Buffalo before adding the rest when the organization’s minor league seasons are complete. Director of player development, Ross Atkins, said the Indians would promote four players during the first stage.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com.