CLEVELAND: An influx of players to the Indians from Triple-A might be delayed if Columbus qualifies for the International League playoffs.
""We are sensitive to their situation,'' manager Manny Acta said this afternoon. ""They have the opportunity to make the playoffs, so unless there's somebody we really need to see, we will let them (Clippers) go through their process.''
The winners of the North, South and West divisions plus a wild card team qualify for the posteason in the IL. Durham has already clinched the South Division title, and Scranton/Wilkes Barre is close to wrapping up the North over second-place Buffalo.
Going into tonight's schedule of games, Louisville is a half game ahead of Columbus, which has 11 games to play to complete the season. The Clippers lead the wild card race by three games over Buffalo.
""If they're eliminated, it would make it easier for us,'' Acta said. ""But I hope they make the playoffs. It will be good experience for the players.''
Even if Columbus fails to make the playoffs, the Clippers' season doesn't end until Sept. 6, a circumstance that also could impact when players are called up.
Justin Masterson is headed for the bullpen at some point in September, which doesn't necessarily mean his career path will be permanently altered. If he has his way, he will remain a starter.
""Yeah, that's what I would like to do,'' he said. ""I have some good starts under my belt, and I've had some inconsistent ones.''
Masterson is 5-12 with a 5.23 earned-run average but held Oakland to two runs and five hits in six innings Thursday night.