CLEVELAND: Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti doesn’t listen to sports talk radio. If he did, he wouldn’t listen for long, especially this week.
“I’m sure we’re extremely popular,” he said facetiously. “When you let that [fans and media opinions] creep into your decision making, that’s when you make bad decisions. We’re cognizant of the fans. They want the same things we do.”
ONE MORE TIME — Roberto Hernandez will make one more start in the minors before Tribe officials decide to put him back on the roster and in the rotation.
On Sunday, Hernandez threw 7⅓ innings for Lake County, giving up four runs (all solo homers) on six hits and one walk, striking out nine.
“We’re happy the way he threw the ball,” manager Manny Acta said. “He got into the eighth inning and threw 96 pitches. I talked to him, and he said he was ready to go. But we want him to make one more start [Aug. 10] for Columbus. If everything goes well after that, we’ll make a decision.”
Hernandez’s suspension for using a false identity ends Friday.
OUT AGAIN — Travis Hafner hit a titanic home run in the 10th inning Sunday, but his injured back prevented him from answering the bell Monday night.
“He had a good game yesterday, but his back is sore again,” Acta said. “He’ll get the day off so we can have him tomorrow.”
Acta said the injury is not serious.
“Lonnie [head trainer Lonnie Soloff] is dealing with it along with a chiropractor. We don’t feel we have to go past that,” Acta said.
MINOR MOVE — The Indians claimed 22-year-old right-hander Fabio Martinez off the waiver wire from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Martinez has spent the season at Class-A Inland Empire of the California League, where he posted an 0-5 record and 10.72 ERA in eight starts.
He missed most of 2011 with an arm injury and posted a 7-3 record with a 3.92 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) for Class-A Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League in 2010.
PLAYER SUSPENDED — A right-handed pitcher on the Tribe’s Dominican Republic Summer League team, Juan Nivar, has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Boldenone, a performance enhancing substance.
Nivar, 19, had a 4-1 record and 1.36 ERA in 10 starts, walking 13 and striking out 54 in 46⅓ innings.
FARM FACTS — T.J. McFarland (5-5, 5.05 ERA) pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up three hits and one walk, as Columbus defeated Norfolk 1-0 in Class AAA. … Tony Wolters hit his fourth homer of the year, doubled, singled and drove in three runs, as Carolina beat Lynchburg 7-6 in Class A. … Jordan Smith hit his sixth home run of the season in Lake County’s 8-1 defeat to South Bend in Class A. … Joe Wendle homered, singled twice and had three RBI, but Mahoning Valley dropped a 5-4 decision to Tri-City in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker