CLEVELAND: Many observers were puzzled when Indians manager Terry Francona summoned Cody Allen to pitch with two out, one on and one run home in the seventh inning of Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
With the Indians holding a one-run lead in that part of the game, the obvious choice of Francona has been Vinnie Pestano.
“Vinnie’s elbow is a little creaky,” Francona said. “I tried to stay away from him. That’s why the order [of the relievers] was a little different than normal.”
In other words, Francona was saving Smith to be his setup man, Pestano’s job, if he needed him.
“Vinnie threw a bullpen this morning and was pretty good,” Francona said.
But that does not settle the issue.
“I’ll see how it responds after throwing from 120 feet and throwing off the mound,” Pestano said. “This is something I’ve been battling for a couple of years. But I’ve always been able to maintain it in good order.”
However, after pitching on Sunday in Kansas City, Pestano went to Francona.
“I took a couple of days off and played catch, but I still wasn’t ready,” he said. “I had kind of an elevated pitch count [Sunday] and my appearances have been sort of sporadic, and it flared up.”
Pestano is not ruling out a stint on the disabled list.
“If a decision has to be made, it would be a situation where I could be on the DL for only a week by backdating it,” he said. “This is the first time I haven’t been able to answer the call. It’s not fun. I want to be out there.”
SWISHER RETURNS — After missing three games with a tender shoulder, Nick Swisher proved he was ready to return by hitting a home run in the first inning.
“You can accuse me of being overprotective,” Francona said. “I’m guilty. But when he comes back, you want him to be ready.”
MAKEUP DATE — The April 23 rainout against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field has been rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader June 28. Start time will be 5:10 p.m.
BOURN UPDATE — Michael Bourn (lacerated finger) has progressed to taking live batting practice, getting closer to going out on a rehab assignment.
“He did very well in BP,” Francona said. “Today we’re hitting in the cages, and it’s optional. We’ll see how he does tomorrow. He was very excited about how he did.”
PROGRESSING NORMALLY — Brett Myers continued his throwing program Saturday with no ill effects.
“It was his second day, and you could tell he was throwing free and easy,” Francona said. “He’s itching to get on the mound, but that’s premature. It will probably be a couple more weeks.”
Myers is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.
FARM FACTS — Matt LaPorta hit his second home run of the season, singled and drove in three runs, as Columbus defeated Rochester 5-1. Joe Martinez (1-2, 2.55 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits and one walk. Ryan Rohlinger had three hits. … Francisco Lindor had a triple and three singles, raising his average to .365, but Frederick beat Carolina 4-3. Jerrud Sabourin doubled and singled to lift his average to .351.
— Sheldon Ocker