As Tribe officials were announcing that Corey Kluber was going on the disabled list, right-hander Matt Langwell was driving north on I-71 from Columbus, hoping to join the team in time to pitch against the Tigers if needed Tuesday night.
Kluber will be sidelined for at least 15 days with a sprained right middle finger. No further details were given, but apparently the injury is similar to the one that landed Zach McAllister on the DL for seven weeks.
Neither Kluber nor club officials mentioned an injury after Kluber threw 7⅓ innings in his start Monday night. And the fact that Langwell was summoned so late would indicate that Kluber’s problem did not come to light until Tuesday.
Langwell has a 3-3 record with two saves and a 2.46 ERA in 34 appearances with the Clippers. In two stints in the Indians’ bullpen, he is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in five appearances.
Another roster move will be made today to enable Danny Salazar to officially join the team for his start against the Tigers.
REHABBING IN EARNEST — Josh Tomlin will make his first rehab start by pitching two innings in Akron tonight. “It seems like everybody in that room [clubhouse] is pulling for him,’’ Francona said.
Tomlin, who underwent elbow reconstruction surgery a year ago, pitched one inning for the Tribe’s Arizona rookie league more than a week ago. If he has no setbacks, Tomlin will be a serious candidate as a September call-up, either to help in the bullpen or as a starter.
IN THE HUNT — A hard, foam replica of a deer stood in the Indians’ clubhouse Tuesday, but it was not the Tribe’s version of the rally monkey. Setup man Joe Smith bought the deer at a sporting goods store for target practice before Ohio’s bow-hunting deer season starts Sept. Sept. 28.
Did Smith intend to use the deer in his backyard?
“No, I’m putting it in center field,’’ he said. “Somebody might get all sensitive. I know when PETA sees it, they’re going to get all over me.’’
Until Smith starts practicing, maybe someone should embellish it with a Tigers cap.
“I’m trying to wait until you get out of here,’’ Smith cracked.
FARM FACTS — Tim Fedroff had three hits, including a double, in Columbus’ 6-3 win over Toledo…..Shawn Morimando (8-10, 2.91 ERA) threw six scoreless innings, allowing six hits and two walks, as Carolina beat Potomac 5-3. Tony Wolters had three hits, including a double…..Richard Stock homered and singled, driving in four runs, as Lake County defeated Great Lakes 11-4. Dorssys Paulino doubled, singled three times and had one RBI, and Joe Sever had three hits, including a double, and two RBI.
— Sheldon Ocker