July 28, 2014

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Indians Notes: T.J. House optioned to minors, but still in rotation

Cleveland Indians' starting pitcher T.J. House delivers in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals Saturday. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)

Cleveland Indians’ starting pitcher T.J. House delivers in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals Saturday. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)

CLEVELAND — T.J. House was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Friday, but the left-hander has not been removed from the rotation.

With the All-Star break coming Monday through Thursday and the Indians not needing a full starting staff, House (1-2, 4.40 ERA) was replaced on the 25-man roster by Clippers reliever Austin Adams.

House, who isn’t scheduled to start until July 21 in Minnesota, is expected to make an appearance for Class A Mahoning Valley on Wednesday (five innings).

It could be a short stay for the right-hander Adams, who has had an impressive first half at Columbus, where he posted a 2.29 ERA and two saves over 30 appearances.

The Indians are expected to recall Zach McAllister today to make his first big-league start since May 21, and will have to clear a spot for the right-hander, who is 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 starts for Cleveland — 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts for the Clippers.

Adams, 27, is a fifth-round draft pick in 2009, and if he appears, will be making his major league debut. He missed all of 2012 recovering from reconstructive right elbow surgery.

Heeeeee’s baaaack
Indians manager Terry Francona got his wish — LeBron James is returning to play for the Cavaliers.

“I’ve been here long enough to care about Cleveland,” Francona said. “First and foremost, what we’re doing with the Indians, that’s my job. But as far as being a person, I’m thrilled, because it’s going to bring a lot of happiness and a lot of joy to basketball fans.

“I think it’s good for the city. It will bring in revenue and extra excitement to the downtown area. I think it’s awesome. You could feel the electricity around here today. That can’t be bad. As for the basketball fan in me, I’m really excited.”

So is Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher, who tweeted, “Alright @KingJames! Let’s go Cleveland sports! What an awesome start to the day! Great to see him come back to where it all started!”

Second baseman Jason Kipnis had this to say on Twitter: “Gonna be hard for @ESPN to ignore Cleveland sports much longer! City is gonna be electric!! Happy for this city and it’s fans! #WelcomeHome.”

During the game, the Progressive Field scoreboard paid tribute to James, displaying his picture with a “Welcome Home” greeting.

Hot and cold
Kipnis is hitting the All-Star break on a hot streak, entering Friday batting .323 (21-for-65) over his last 15 games to raise his average from .241 to .262.

“The more he hits, the better, and the sooner obviously helps us more,” Francona said. “But he’ll be fine. He already is fine. You can’t control when you get hot. Sometimes it just happens when it happens.”

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall is headed in the opposite direction, batting just .188 (16-for-85) in his last 23 games through Thursday. He entered Friday at .324 on the season.

Minor details

  • Danny Salazar (3-6, 4.50 ERA) allowed a run on just two hits over six innings Friday, striking out nine but walking six, in Columbus’ 1-0 loss to Indianapolis in the first game of a doubleheader.
  • Double-A Akron shortstop Francisco Lindor raised his average to .282 on Friday with a 3-for-4 performance in the Rubber Ducks’ 9-2 win at Richmond.

Roundin’ third

  • Justin Masterson (right knee inflammation) threw all four-seam fastballs during a bullpen session Thursday. Masterson was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career Tuesday.
  • The Indians will hold an optional workout in Detroit on Thursday prior to their four-game series with the Tigers (Friday through Sunday).
  • Cleveland entered Friday with 140 runs in the seventh inning or later, which ranked third in the majors and second in the AL.
  • Catcher George Kottaras was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Former Indians utility infielder Alvaro Espinoza (1993-96) threw out the first pitch.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.

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