CLEVELAND: How much longer will the Indians have to wait before Nick Swisher and Chris Perez return to the field?
Swisher might be in the lineup against the Twins tonight, but there is uncertainty.
“Swisher hit off a tee [Thursday], and it was good he came in to do that [on an off day],” manager Terry Francona said Friday. “He took batting practice today and felt really good. If he feels really good [today], we’ll see.”
Swisher has missed five games with a sore right shoulder, and taking swings in pain probably had something to do with his recent slump.
“When you have a guy who is out for four or five days, you want it to help,” Francona said. “You don’t want him to take an aggressive swing and the shoulder starts to hurt all over again.”
The exact nature of the injury has never been revealed but apparently it will have to be dealt with for the rest of the season.
“I think he has to manage it all year,” Francona said. “It will have to be part of his routine, and he knows that.”
Until further notice, Swisher will be limited to playing first base. Right field is out for now because of the potential strain it could put on his shoulder.
“We’re not going to do that right now, for sure,” Francona said. “If we ever did let him go out to right, we would check with him and give him a heads up the day before.”
In his last rehab assignment at Akron, Perez gave up five runs in a single inning, allowing three home runs, plus a double and single. He also hit a batter. Even so, Perez reported that he felt no pain in his shoulder.
“Chris threw a bullpen today and felt really good,” Francona said. “He’s going to Akron and throw a simulated game Sunday morning. He can’t do it here, because we have something happening on our field.
“We’ll revisit him after that. It looks like he’ll make one more [rehab] outing, probably on Tuesday. This time it will be more like a true game for him as a closer, instead of him pitching in the first or second inning.”
Perez probably will throw 30 pitches in the simulated game and 15-20 in his next rehab appearance, after throwing 20-30 warm-up pitches.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com.