CLEVELAND: The list of injured Indians players is beginning to be a concern.
Three pitchers — Josh Tomlin, Frank Herrmann, Blake Wood — are on the 60-day disabled list and were not counted on for months because they are recovering from serious surgeries. Those are less troubling than the five players who are out for lesser periods of time, but who are key members of the rotation or lineup.
Scott Kazmir (strained rib cage) probably will remain on the 15-day DL until Saturday and will have missed three starts; Lou Marson (strained neck) is on the DL until April 24.
Three other players not on the DL are too incapacitated to play. One of those, Carlos Santana (sore thumb) probably will return tonight after missing four games (except for one pinch hitting appearance Sunday). Jason Kipnis (sore elbow) has missed two games and remains day-to-day.
On Sunday, Michael Bourn slid head first into the bag to beat out an infield hit and Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Thornton stepped on his hand, causing a cut on his right index finger that took five stitches to close. It’s unlikely Bourn will play until the stitches are removed, which means he could miss five to seven games.
Sliding into first has always been a questionable play, but manager Terry Francona defended it.
“You have to play the game,” he said. “You don’t want guys to get hurt, but he was doing his best to get on base. Sometimes to beat the pitcher to the base, that’s the best way to go.”
ANCIENT HISTORY — Boston baseball media will turn its attention on Francona when the Red Sox begin a three-game set at Progressive Field tonight.
The former manager of the Sox left in a cloud of controversy, and he isn’t about to stir the pot over something that happened two years ago.
“The game is hard enough,” Francona said. “The players don’t need me to be having nostalgia week.”
MINOR-LEAGUE DEAL — The Indians traded Double-A pitcher Eric Berger to the Houston Astros for catcher Chris Wallace, 24, who has played one game for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. Last year, Wallace batted .251 with five homers and 29 RBI in 63 games at Double-A Corpus Christi and hit .270 with seven RBI in 15 games at Oklahoma City.
Wallace has been assigned to the Aeros.
Berger pitched twice for the Aeros, giving up two runs in 4⅓ innings out of the bullpen.
ALBERS TRANSFERRED — Matt Albers has been moved from the paternity list to the Family Medical Emergency List. Players can remain on this list from 3-7 days; Albers’ inclusion is backdated to last Friday.
END OF STREAK — Nick Swisher’s 20-game hitting streak at Progressive Field ended Sunday, when he went 0-for-4. The streak began in September 2008, when Swisher played for the Chicago White Sox. He and Michael Young of the Philadelphia Phillies are tied for the longest hitting streak at Progressive Field.
FARM FACTS — Corey Kluber (1-1, 6.57 ERA) worked 6⅓ innings, giving up six runs and eight hits and striking out eight in Columbus’ 12-7 loss to Indianapolis in Class AAA. Luis Hernandez homered, singled and drove in two runs. … Nellie Rodriguez singled and doubled, driving in two runs, but Lake County lost to Fort Wayne 5-4 in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker