CLEVELAND — Ryan Raburn was activated from the disabled list and was in the lineup Tuesday at designated hitter.
It’s been a rough season for the 32-year-old Raburn, who signed a two-year contract extension worth $4.85 million last year, and entered Tuesday batting just .191 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 70 games. He hit .272 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs in 86 games for Cleveland in 2013.
“You look at the end of the year and his stats might not reflect it but if he can have a hot three or four weeks, especially with the lefties we are facing, that would be great,” manager Terry Francona said of Raburn, who was sidelined for nearly two weeks with a wrist injury.
Raburn is scheduled to make $2.5 million in 2015, with the Indians holding a $3 million club option for 2016.
David Murphy (right oblique strain) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment today at Triple-A Columbus, which would seem to indicate that the outfielder would play again before the season is complete.
“Because it is September, we will re-evaluate where he is at,” Francona said. “Murphy is a pretty easy guy to talk to. He’s level-headed. He may not be ready to play seven days in a row. We’ll activate him when he’s healthy and feels like he has his legs under him.”
Murphy has been on the DL since Aug. 10, hitting .262 with seven homers and 55 RBIs in 109 games of his first season with the Indians.
“I’m getting pretty close,” he said. “It’s such a sensitive area. I’ve tried to compromise between what I’m feeling — obviously, I want to get out there as soon as possible – and trying to be smart with it and trust what (the medical staff is) saying.”
Francona said Mike Aviles passed all his concussion tests, but the utility man was not in the lineup, still feeling the effects from his failed diving attempt in right field Monday.
The Indians are expected to get pitcher Josh Tomlin and catcher Chris Gimenez back from paternity list over the next two days.
With a little over a month remaining in the regular season, Francona isn’t concerned that his pitchers are tiring down the stretch.
“I don’t think anyone is on fumes,” Francona said. “I don’t know how the last three to four weeks are going to go. No one seems to be limping to the finish line, which is good. Our guys in the bullpen have done an extraordinary job of holding up and knowing the days they are off, using them to their advantage. They’ve all pitched in and done a good job. The starters, they’re fine.”
Recently recalled first baseman/DH Jesus Aguilar was named Cleveland’s minor league player of the week (Aug. 18-24). Aguilar hit .462 (12-for-26) over the span, while leading the International League with five doubles, seven extra-base hits, 23 total bases and 1.385 OPS over the final eight games of the regular season.
Aguilar, a non-drafted free-agent acquisition in 2007, hit .304 with 19 homers and 77 RBIs during his first full season on the Triple-A level.
- Carlos Santana’s homer in the first inning gave him 94 for his career, which ranks third all-time among Indians switch hitters behind Carlos Baerga (104) and Victor Martinez (103).
- A scoring change from Monday’s game — a single to an error on right fielder Aviles in the third inning — has lowered Corey Kluber’s ERA from 2.72 to 2.58. It took a hit away from Miguel Cabrera, who still went 3-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and four runs in Detroit’s 12-1 win.
- Tonight, 7:05, STO; WTAM 1100-AM, WEOL 930-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM. Salazar (5-6, 4.23) vs. Verlander (12-11, 4.68).