ATLANTA: On Tuesday Ryan Raburn tried to be optimistic, but did not rule out a trip to the disabled list with inflammation in his left heel.
That proved to be prophetic as the Indians placed the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and purchased the contract of outfielder Matt Carson from Triple-A Columbus. Because the move was retroactive, Raburn is eligible to be activated on Tuesday.
To make room for Carson on the 40-man roster, the Indians placed infielder Cord Phelps (right wrist inflammation) on the 60-day disabled list.
Raburn missed 10 of the past 11 games, playing only on Aug. 18. He said the heel problem was most evident “taking off and slowing down.” Raburn is batting .270 with 14 doubles, 15 home runs and 41 RBI in 70 games.
“We thought he would be OK last night,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “When he went through batting practice [Wednesday] he was just a little hesitant to let it go. He came in after he hit and said, ‘It’s only five more days.’ ”
Carson, 32, has spent all season in Columbus, where he hit .252 with 16 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs and 49 RBI. He also has 14 steals in 18 attempts. He hit .270 vs. left-handers.
Francona liked having a pinch-runner who can play all three outfield positions, even if the three-game series in Detroit this weekend has the Indians facing all right-handers.
Carson called his promotion a “pleasant surprise,” especially since his previous major-league duty was with the noncontending Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins.
“It’s going to be a different feel,” he said.
STRICKLIN VISITS — Former Kent State baseball coach Scott Stricklin, hired by the University of Georgia in June, brought 9-year-old son Cale to his first Atlanta Braves game Wednesday. They also hoped to meet Braves left-hander Alex Wood, a former Bulldog.
“I feel like it’s one of the best jobs in the country; we’re in the best conference in the country,” Stricklin said. “We feel like when we get established that we’re going to be contenders to go to Omaha every year. “
As for his new home of Athens, Ga., Stricklin is smitten.
“It’s small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but it’s big enough where you’re not bored,” he said. “Every sport is an event. The people live it; it’s their passion.
“Giving my snowblower to my brother Jim wasn’t such a bad thing, either. He lives in Athens, Ohio. That’s how he knew I was taking the job.”
OTHER STUFF — Tuesday’s 2-0 loss was only the eighth time this season the Indians have been shut out, which was tied for fourth fewest in the American League going into Wednesday. Six of the eight were on the road. … Pitcher Danny Salazar said his two at-bats Tuesday were the first time he’d held a bat in four or five years. His only batting practice was in the cage off the tee. … Right fielder Drew Stubbs had his left shoulder wrapped in ice after hitting the wall trying to catch Elliot Johnson’s two-run triple Tuesday, but said it was “preventative.”
— Marla Ridenour