CLEVELAND — Starting pitcher Justin Masterson will be very busy this week, soaking in every moment — and taking part in every activity — in New York as he makes his first trip to the MLB All-Star Game.
Taking that into consideration, Indians manager Terry Francona is giving his ace an extended break.
Left-hander Scott Kazmir (Friday) and right-hander Corey Kluber (Saturday) will start the Tribe’s first two games in Minnesota after the All-Star break, allowing right-hander Masterson to relax until taking the ball Sunday against the Twins.
“Tito didn’t tell me anything except to have fun in New York, which was really nice to hear from your manager,” Masterson said Sunday following Cleveland’s 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. “I appreciate everything he’s done for me this season, including the way he set up our starters after the break. I plan on enjoying myself this week.”
Masterson, who is 10-7 with a 3.72 ERA in a team-high 20 starts, last appeared in a game Wednesday against Toronto. He will go 11 days between starts, but could pitch Tuesday for the American League in the All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is slated to start the Indians’ series opener in Seattle on July 22, while right-hander Zach McAllister could be activated off the 15-day disabled list the next night to face the Mariners.
McAllister has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 8 with a sprained right middle finger. He made his first rehab appearance Saturday for Double-A Akron, pitching 3⅓ innings and allowing two runs against Altoona.
Francona said McAllister will make at least one more outing for the Aeros before returning to the Indians’ roster.
“Zach texted me last night after the game and said he felt great, which was what we wanted to hear,” Francona said. “He’s getting closer, but we’re still going to watch him carefully before bringing him back.”
The Indians and Royals each had two players named to the All-Star Game last week, all of whom will make their initial appearances at the Midsummer Classic.
Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez will join Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis and Masterson at Citi Field in New York.
In order to make their experience as smooth as possible, Cleveland visiting clubhouse manager Willie Jenks shipped all of their All-Star Game uniforms and equipment to the Big Apple on Friday.
Each player will receive six tickets to each All-Star event as part of their welcome package.
Royals closer Greg Holland was added to the American League roster Sunday following the game as manager Jim Leyland of Detroit finalized his squad.
“It’s going to be exciting for all those guys,” said Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, a two-time All-Star. “We’re happy for them and proud for what they’ve done.”
- The Indians activated relief pitcher Blake Wood (right elbow surgery) from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus. They also outrighted catcher Omir Santos to the Clippers. Wood made rehab appearances with Columbus, Double-A Akron, Single-A Lake County and Single-A Mahoning Valley during the last 30 days. The righty pitched four scoreless innings in four games with the Clippers.
- The Royals designated relief pitcher J.C. Gutierrez for assignment — on his 30th birthday — in order to activate starting pitcher Wade Davis from the paternity leave list. Davis remained in New York with his wife, Katelyn, and their first child. “The baby was born late Friday night, so there’s no need for him to come here,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
- Shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was recently promoted to Double-A Akron, represented the Indians in the All-Star Futures Game for the second straight year. The game was held Sunday at Citi Field, and Lindor hit into a double play during his only plate appearance in the seventh inning.
- Tribe pitcher Chen-Chang Lee played for Chinese Taipei in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, going 0-1 with a 162.00 ERA. He also appeared in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
- Cleveland will play 32 home games and 35 road games following the All-Star break. The Indians finished the first half of the season with their most wins since 2007.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.