CHICAGO: Justin Masterson (strained oblique) is traveling with the team for a reason. He began a throwing program Thursday, playing catch from 90 feet.
“He had no issues, no problems,” manager Terry Francona said. “So now, he’ll continue that progression. He did well today.”
What are the chances that Masterson can rejoin the rotation before the regular season ends? “It all depends on how quickly he can come back,” Francona said. “If he’s healthy, we can pitch him.”
EXTRA EARS AND EYES — Jason Bere’s day job is special assistant to baseball operations for the Tribe, but he has a new assignment this month.
He is one of a select few Indians operative who will be with the team until the end of the season. What does Bere do in that capacity?
“You are allowed to bring up coaches in September,” Francona said. “We wanted Jason with us. Because of the kind of person he is and his skill set, it’s nice to have him. It’s not easy to come in and fit in, but he has done it seamlessly.”
Bere, a former big-league pitcher, doesn’t necessarily walk up to a player and start giving advice.
“He’ll usually go to the coaches,” Francona said. “We want just one voice, but we like to have more eyes.”
TRIVIA PURSUIT — In 50 games since the All-Star break, the Tribe’s pitching staff has compiled a 3.34 ERA, second lowest in the league behind the Kansas City Royals (3.01).
The Indians’ starters have a 3.28 ERA, the relievers a 3.35 ERA.
— Sheldon Ocker