KANSAS CITY, Mo.: If the cut on Michael Bourn’s right index finger were on any other side of the digit, he might be off the disabled list and ready to return to the leadoff spot in the Indians’ lineup.
However, the cut is on the palm side of his hand and stretches across a joint, making it more vulnerable to friction and stress created by swinging a bat or gripping and throwing a ball.
“That’s why we are being so conservative with this,” head trainer Lonnie Soloff said.
The stitches were removed from the finger on Tuesday, but a little soreness remains.
“I think yesterday Michael was hoping it would feel better than it did,” manager Terry Francona said. “He thought he was going to be ready to take off.”
Instead, Bourn took dry swings in the indoor batting cage and played catch from 45 feet. On Saturday, he was allowed to swing harder and move back to 90 feet to throw.
There is no timetable for when Bourn will take his cuts in live batting practice.
“We’re going to work off of him,” Soloff said.
It is clear, however, that Bourn will remain on the disabled past Tuesday, the day he is eligible to be activated.
PROBABLY, WE’LL SEE — It’s still not official that Corey Kluber will start the second game of today’s separate- admission doubleheader, because Francona didn’t dismiss the idea that an emergency in Saturday night’s game might force Kluber to pitch out of the bullpen. Under the new basic agreement, teams also can call up a 26th player for doubleheaders. That decision also was pending.
‘‘That’s something we still have to work through,” Francona said.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals will call up Wil Smith from Triple-A Omaha to start tonight’s game.
“ROTATING ROTATION — Ubaldo Jimenez will have seven days of rest between his last outing and his scheduled start Monday night against the Royals.
“We had a lot of things to sift through, how best to do it,” Francona said. “This gives us more options down the road.”
In the immediate future, the Tribe needs a starter for Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cleveland. That might mean the second big-league start of the year for Trevor Bauer, who has been pitching effectively at Triple-A Columbus.
BLACKOUT — Tonight’s game will not be televised, because of ESPN’s exclusive window to air Sunday Night Baseball. Fans can listen on WTAM (1100-AM) or WAKR (1590-AM). The first game of the doubleheader will be broadcast on SportsTime Ohio and the Tribe’s radio network.
FARM FACTS — T.J. House gave up two runs, five hits and two walks, striking out seven, as Columbus defeated Scranton Wilkes-Barre 3-2. Yan Gomes doubled, singled and drove in a run. … Jordan Cooper (1-2, 2.19 ERA) threw eight shutout innings, giving up three hits and one walk while and struck out eight, as Carolina beat Frederick 10-2 in Class A. Jake Lowery doubled and drove in two runs, and Yhoxian Medina had two hits and two RBI. … Luigi Rodriguez had two hits and one RBI, and Jake Sisco gave up two earned runs (three total) and five hits in five innings in Clinton’s 5-4 win over Lake County in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker