CLEVELAND -- The Indians have played the waiting game over the last month as some of their regular starting players took time to rehab from injuries. Now, the club may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for two of their everyday players.
Reyes has hit .313 with two homers, three RBIs and four strikeouts in 16 at-bats split between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus entering Thursday. He was set to play in one more game with Akron on Thursday before getting a day off on Friday in preparation for his return.
Pérez had been advancing in his rehab so well that the Indians seemed confident he’d be activated on Saturday, the soonest he’s eligible to come off the 60-day IL. However, Wednesday night threw a brief hesitation in those plans. Pérez was removed from his rehab game in Akron after getting crossed up on a pitch -- like he was when he fractured his right ring finger that landed him on the IL in the first place -- and getting hit on the right hand. But after getting it checked, he turned out to be OK.
“It was in the meat of the hand,” Francona said. “He's kind of bruised there today. But he went and got an X-ray, and everything is fine. He's going to catch tomorrow in Columbus.”
Assuming the next 48 hours go as planned for both Reyes and Pérez, expect both to be back on the active roster on Saturday. And for a lineup that could use some extra pop and a pitching staff that could use some extra expertise, both additions will be crucial for the club.
Zimmer getting ankle checked
Bradley Zimmer logged a triple in the second inning of the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Tigers, but at some point in his trip around the bases, he felt some discomfort in his left ankle. The Indians kept him out of lineup Thursday against the Astros to give him some time to get it evaluated.
“When he went into third on that triple, and we're not even quite sure when he did it because he didn't slide. But it was a little sore,” Francona said. “So we took him out and we're going to let him get worked on today. [The Astros have] a lefty going anyway. So we'll let him get some work done today. Hopefully it feels better.”
Tito’s new boot
Francona knows he’ll need to continue to sport a boot on his left foot until the end of the season. He has surgery scheduled once his baseball season is no longer the priority to help make some progress after he was diagnosed with a staph infection in his foot in January. And as many times as he has had to make trips to the mound this year and navigate his way through ballparks, he has struggled to find the right fit to help keep him moving.
“They brought me down about eight boots yesterday, just because I’ve been breaking all the ones I have,” Francona said. “I don’t know if you guys have noticed how agile I am, but I’ve been kind of running out of them, and that doesn’t really help. And then on top of it, you get this bruising or sores where your foot rubs on it, which doesn’t help my demeanor either. So they brought down about eight of them and we made some progress, which was good.”