There will be no announcement of changes in the Indians’ rotation for at least a few days, if at all.
After Josh Tomlin gave up eight runs in four innings Friday night, manager Manny Acta said he would discuss the club’s options with General Manager Chris Antonetti. He added that Tomlin wasn’t the only struggling starter, a reference to Derek Lowe.
But neither pitcher will be removed from the rotation immediately.
“We talked, but we have to sit back and wait until the [Tuesday] trading deadline,’’ Acta said Saturday. “It would be foolish to do anything before then. So we’ll have to wait and see.’’
If Roberto Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) was about to finish his three-week suspension and rehab stint, it might be easier to make a decision. But Hernandez can’t join the team until Aug. 11. Between now and then, Tomlin is scheduled to make two more starts and Lowe will have three scheduled turns.
HOW IMPORTANT IS TRADE? — Asked whether acquiring a hitter or a starting pitcher should be the Tribe’s priority, Acta said, “It’s pretty clear that one guy is not going to make a difference here. Of course, pitching is a priority. I was envisioning that our rotation would be better than it has been. I was expecting guys we already had would be as good or better than last year.’’
NIGHT OFF – Asdrubal Cabrera was on the bench when Saturday night’s game started. He hasn’t had many days off because until last week, the Tribe did not have a legitimate backup shortstop, and it was tough for Acta to take Cabrera out of the lineup.
“Asdrubal does a good job of maintaining his stamina,’’ the manager said. “It helps that we now have a backup shortstop, so we can give him a breather. It’s still hard to take him out, because he’s a big part of our lineup. These guys have to train to play every day.’’
That said, Acta acknowledged that the rigors of a 162-game schedule can wear on a player mentally as well as physically.
“These are not pickup games in the backyard,’’ he said. “It’s a grind and it’s not easy.’’
FORBIDDEN WORDS — Acta has no intention of discussing the Indians’ chances of winning one of two American League wild-card berths. The manager has tunnel vision concerning one goal: the Central Division title.
“I don’t know anything about wild cards,’’ he said. “I’m trying to win the division. I don’t want to hear about the wild card until we’re eliminated from the division race. I’m dead serious. I’m not going to talk about it. I don’t even keep in touch with what’s going on with the wild card.’’
Here is how Acta likes to think about the wild card: “Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t win the division and woke up after the season and a guy says, ‘You won the wild card, and you’re in the playoffs.’ That’s the way I think about the wild card.’’
HE’S BACK — Aaron Cunningham, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and has accepted an assignment to Columbus.
FARM FACTS — Chad Huffman and Vinny Rottino each had four hits and one RBI, as Columbus routed Toledo 13-2. Jared Goedert had three hits and two RBI, Tim Fedroff had three hits, and Russ Canzler hit his 16th home run of the season. Corey Kluber (11-7, 3.59 ERA) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings….Robel Garcia doubled twice and had three RBI in Mahoning Valley’s 5-3 win over Staten Island....Anthony Santander homered and drove in two runs, as the Arizona League Indians beat the Brewers 5-1.
— Sheldon Ocker