BALTIMORE: Some of the Indians’ walking wounded are running and no longer are wounded.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and in the lineup batting second. Chris Perez is scheduled to leave the DL today and be ready to save games.
Manager Terry Francona was pleasantly surprised, because Cabrera beat the timetable established for his return from a strained quad. He had been on the DL since June 4.
“He came back a lot quicker than I anticipated,” Francona said. “I thought he might be back by the end of this road trip [next Thursday]. So this is kind of shocking.”
Cabrera has been testing his leg in workouts all week.
“He got on the field Monday — and if he can do that [heavy workload],” Francona said, his voice trailing off. “He’s running better now than he was at the beginning of the year. And he was adamant that he didn’t need to go on a rehab assignment. He told me, ‘I don’t want to but I will if you want.’ ”
Perez made his last rehab appearance Tuesday night, when he threw one inning at Mahoning Valley.
“His velocity ticked up a little bit, and his slider looked good,” General Manager Chris Antonetti said.
Perez has been on the DL since May 27 with a sore right shoulder. Before his injury, Perez was making only sporadic appearances because there were relatively few chances to save games.
“We will definitely pitch him,” Francona said, indicating that Perez will be on the mound whether or not the Tribe needs him to hold a lead in the ninth inning. “If we have a save opportunity he will pitch. If we don’t, he still will pitch.”
To make room on the roster for Cabrera, 38-year-old John McDonald was designated for assignment. He was on the team little more than two weeks and appeared in eight games.
Asked if he would be considered for a non-playing job by the Tribe if he can’t find a job, Antonetti said, “Johnny Mac still wants to play. If he doesn’t find a team, he’ll have to evaluate his opportunities. We would talk to him.”
McDonald is one of the more well-liked and respected players in the game, and never mind that he has come off the bench virtually his entire career.
“The way Chris handled it [telling McDonald the bad news] showed how much respect he has,” Francona said. “Chris was honest, and what he said was heartfelt. We all want him to land on his feet, and he will because he’s Johnny Mac.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.