The right-hander, who signed a one-year contract worth $7 million this offseason to join the Indians’ rotation, has struggled in his first two appearances — 14 earned runs, 18 hits over 10 1/3 innings. He allowed four home runs (seven on the season) and seven runs out of the bullpen (5 1/3 innings) in a 14-1 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday.
“It’s my job always … if i can’t think positive, who the heck is?” Francona said. “That’s my job. (Pitching in relief Tuesday was a) difficult situation. He handled it well — effective for a couple innings — then they were in swing-mode and they whacked some fastballs.
“You can harp on that as a staff, or you can look to what he did well and try to capitalize on that. So that’s what we chose to do.”
Francona is not one to criticize his players or dwell on a loss, choosing to stay positive on both fronts.
“It’s too hard to play this game with a hangover from a bad game,” he said. “It’s hard enough to play this game on good days. When you’re hungover from a bad game, that doesn’t help anything.”
Legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera gathered around 20 Indians employees to thank them for their contributions to Major League Baseball. Rivera posed for pictures and signed autographs, as he plans on doing at each visiting ballpark during his final season.
With poor weather forecasts for today in Cleveland, a pregame ceremony to honor Rivera was cancelled. It is expected to be held when the Yankees return to make up Wednesday’s postponed game.
Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is slated to start in Triple-A Columbus’ home opener tonight. Matsuzaka allowed two runs on four hits over five innings of his season debut for the Clippers. Right-hander Trevor Bauer, who made a spot start for the Indians, will follow Matsuzaka to make his Clippers debut Friday.
(bullet) Top prospect Francisco Lindor is off to a hot start to the season, batting .458 with a double, two triples and three RBIs in his first six games for advanced Class A Carolina.
(bullet) Double-A Akron first baseman Jesus Aguilar, a non-drafted free-agent signing in 2007, drove in eight runs over his first six games for the Aeros.
Nick Swisher has hit safely in 18 consecutive games at Progressive Field dating back to Sept. 2, 2008. The streak is the third-longest of any active player, with Philadelphia’s Michael Young leading the way at 20. … Corey Kluber celebrated his 28th birthday Wednesday. … Tonight, 7:05, McAllister (0-1, 3.00) vs. Hughes (0-1, 6.75).
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.