ATLANTA: The Indians were encouraged by the bullpen session Corey Kluber threw Monday as he attempts to return from a right finger sprain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Tribe pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Kluber will throw another bullpen session today, then will either pitch a simulated game or batting practice.
“He looked great. His mechanics looked really good and his command was spectacular,” Callaway said, adding that the right-hander threw his fastball and change-up. “A lot better than we thought it would go.”
Added Indians manager Terry Francona: “He’s kind of flying through this, which is great.”
BOURN BACK — Center fielder Michael Bourn was the center of attention as he returned to Atlanta, where he played for 1½ seasons before joining the Indians in free agency.
“I had fun while I was here,” Bourn said. “We had a good team both years. We had good camaraderie and I enjoyed all of it.”
Asked about his favorite games at Turner Field, he recalled one against Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay when the Braves rallied from a 6-0 deficit.
“I think that’s the game I poked [catcher] Brian McCann’s eye out. The stands were packed,” Bourn said. “That and the game Chipper [Jones] walked off with [Jonathan] Papelbon on the mound.”
Bourn came into Tuesday batting just .224 since the All-Star break with six steals, after hitting .290 with 13 thefts before the break. He said he’s still adjusting to his switch from the National League, where he played for six seasons.
“Right now in the American League, I don’t know a lot of people,” Bourn said. “How they hold you on, how they pitch. It’s a learning curve for me. I lean on my teammates a lot and they give me tips. It helps me, but you like to see it for yourself.”
STILL WAITING — Infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn, bothered by a calf injury, hasn’t played since Aug. 18. He went through drills on the field Tuesday and Francona, while pleased, said he wanted to watch him one more time.
The inactivity is frustrating Raburn, especially with his absence leaving the bench a man short. Saying he’s dealt with calf injuries all season, Raburn didn’t rule out a stint on the disabled list, because it could be retroactive.
“From where it was when it first happened, it feels a lot better,” Raburn said. “Whether we’re good to go for this road trip, that’s what we’ve got to find out. I don’t want to keep this team on edge where they’re still down another guy for six more days. As good as these guys play, they need a breather every once in a while.”
FARM FACTS — Right-hander Joe Colon of Class A-Carolina was named the Indians’ minor-league player of the week. On Aug. 23, Colon threw a season-high seven scoreless innings against Lynchburg, striking out five and walking none. In 20⅓ innings in his past three starts, Colon has allowed two earned runs and averaged 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings. … Catcher-infielder Tony Wolters, catcher Jake Lowery, infielder Joe Wendle and outfielder Tyler Naquin have been slated to participate in the Arizona Fall League. … Josh Tomlin was scheduled to make his second rehab start for the Triple-A Columbus Tuesday as he returns from August, 2012 surgery on his right elbow.
— Marla Ridenour