CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona has mentioned multiple times during Tyler Naquin’s hot July that the outfielder just seems to be enjoying the fact that he finally feels healthy.
After undergoing season-ending right hip surgery last July, Naquin has gone through a few bumps and bruises in 2019 -- including a three-week stint on the injured list with a left calf/hamstring strain -- but he has been able to remain relatively healthy. Now, he’s hoping that streak can continue.
For the third consecutive game, Naquin was not in the Tribe’s starting lineup on Thursday due to right hamstring tightness, spending his pregame hours doing conditioning exercises to test the injury.
“The idea would be, hopefully it goes really good and he’s available tonight, play tomorrow,” Francona said Thursday. “If it doesn’t go [well], then we’ll probably have to start to think of something else.”
While Naquin tries to fight off a potential injury, the Indians have a handful of others who are struggling to overcome their ailments.
Dan Otero: The righty reliever tossed back-to-back outings on Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple-A Columbus. In his first, he worked a hitless frame with one strikeout, throwing 14 pitches. On Wednesday, Otero allowed one run -- a solo homer -- in one inning on 13 pitches. But after making consecutive appearances, the 34-year-old said he didn’t come out feeling as great as he would’ve liked.
“He kind of self-reported today that he just didn’t feel like he bounced back as good as he wanted,” Francona said. “We’re trying to figure out what the next step is. Does he long toss or just take a couple of days and pitch again? Just didn’t bounce back quite as good as he wanted to.”
Bradley Zimmer: The past year has been an emotional roller coaster for the 26-year-old outfielder. After playing in just 25 games in 2018, Zimmer had season-ending right shoulder surgery in July. He was confident he’d be back by the All-Star break this year, but his body has prevented him from reaching that goal.
Zimmer pulled his oblique right around Opening Day, which shut him down for approximately one month. He then worked his way back, and he was days from starting his rehab assignment when he felt pain in his shoulder. After working his way back up to long-tossing, Zimmer has now started to feel pain in his other oblique.
“He’s missed a full year of development,” Francona said. “And he had done so well with the shoulder. By all accounts, he was way ahead of schedule. When we left Spring Training, he was telling us, ‘Don’t forget about me, I’m coming.’ He hasn’t played in a game yet. That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to. It just means he lost some valuable time.”
This date in Indians history
2011: Jason Kipnis hit a walk-off RBI single in his second career Major League game as the Indians defeated the Angels, 3-2.