CHICAGO: Manny Acta wasn't going to get caught up in much Opening Day hype.
Asked if he had butterflies before his first managerial season opener with the Indians today, he said, ""Not butterflies, just excitement. The start of a season never gets old.''
Tribe fans are expecting Acta to turn around a trend that plagued former manager Eric Wedge: slow starts.
""We're no different from the other 29 teams,'' Acta said before taking on the White Sox. ""Every one of us wants to have a good start. We had a plan, but it also depends on what the White Sox, Twins and Tigers do. I think they all planned to have a good start, too.''
Before coming to Cleveland, Acta's only managerial experience was with Washington, a National League club.
""The only adjustment for me is how long to stay with the starter,'' he said. ""Here, you don't have to pinch hit for him. But basically, baseball is baseball.''
Acta said that Luis Valbuena, who was hit in the hand in the final exhibition game in Arizona, is much improved.
""He's playable,'' the manager said. ""He's just a little sore. Our medical staff just wanted to be on the conservative side.''
Presumably, after Tuesday's off-day, Valbuena will return to second base. Today, Mark Grudzielanek will take over that position.
Looking ahead, the pitching matchups for Cleveland and Detroit at Comerica Park are as follows:
David Huff vs. Rick Porcello Friday afternoon; Mitch Talbot vs. Jeremy Bonderman Saturday afternoon; Jake Westbrook vs. Justin Verlander Sunday afternoon.