CLEVELAND: This is the kind of year it's been for the Indians: When one player is ready to come back from an injury, another player gets hurt.
Asdrubal Cabrera is returning to the lineup tonight to face the Royals after missing three games with a sprained wrist. But Michael Brantley, who was scratched from Thursday night's lineup just before game time, will be on the bench tonight.
""He has a tight hamstring, so we have to be careful with him,'' manager Manny Acta said this afterrnoon. ""(Head trainer) Lonnie Soloff has been running him some, and he could be available tomorrow night.''
Then again, maybe not. Hamstring injuries can easily recur if they don't heal peroperly.
Jason Donald, expected to miss a week to 10 days, still is not ready to take his place at second base.
""'He's going to start work at gripping the bat and taking dry swings, but he's going to go slow,'' Acta said. ""The main thing is that he goes home healthy.''
Donald sustained a bruised tendon in his right index finger Sept. 11 against the Twins and has missed 12 games, including tonight's.
The good news is that Acta will be able to get a longer look at Drew Sutton, who has been filling in for Cabrera at shortstop. With Cabrera back in the lineup, Sutton will move over to second in place of Donald. He has played in only seven games but has shown good range at short and the ability to put the ball in play. In 26 at-bats, he is hitting .269.
Trevor Crowe will play center and bat in the leadoff spot instead of Brantley.