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Zimmer's return much needed for Tribe outfield

Indians set to get more help as Chisenhall, Guyer near activation
MLB.com @MLBastian

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians started to get their outfield back in order on Friday, when the club activated center fielder Bradley Zimmer from the disabled list.

Zimmer sustained a left rib contusion while crashing into the center-field wall at Yankee Stadium on a catch attempt in a game on May 5, but he was not placed on the 10-day DL until May 15, retroactive to May 12, after he tried to come back from the issue. While Zimmer has returned, the Indians still have outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf), Brandon Guyer (neck strain) and Tyler Naquin (left hamstring) on the DL.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians started to get their outfield back in order on Friday, when the club activated center fielder Bradley Zimmer from the disabled list.

Zimmer sustained a left rib contusion while crashing into the center-field wall at Yankee Stadium on a catch attempt in a game on May 5, but he was not placed on the 10-day DL until May 15, retroactive to May 12, after he tried to come back from the issue. While Zimmer has returned, the Indians still have outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf), Brandon Guyer (neck strain) and Tyler Naquin (left hamstring) on the DL.

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Indians manager Terry Francona noted on Thursday that both Chisenhall and Guyer might be ready for activation as early as Tuesday. At that point, Cleveland will need to make some decisions about its outfield, which has Michael Brantley, along with a mix of Greg Allen, Rajai Davis and Melky Cabrera being mixed into the equation.

Francona said the team will meet on Monday's off-day to weigh contract situations and players with Minor League options, along with roster fit and performance, in order to make its decisions.

"You can try to have the perfect team, say, on Tuesday," Francona said prior to Friday's game against the Twins. "But, as we've seen, all kinds of stuff happens. So, if you try to get the perfect team and you let this guy go, you designate this guy, you do this, and then you look up a week from now and you go, 'Where's our outfielders?' So, you have to keep that in mind.

"Certainly, the goal is to win every game here, but I think you have to be mindful of the organization, like the health of the organization. And [the front office leaders] are great about that. I think they've really helped me to understand probably maybe some of the bigger picture. Managers want the best team every day. That's the way it is."

Video: CLE@MIN: Bieber K's 6 in MLB debut on his birthday

Worth noting 
• In order to add Zimmer to the active roster, the Indians optioned right-hander Shane Bieber to Triple-A Columbus. Bieber made his Major League debut in a spot start against the Twins on Thursday, allowing four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in a no-decision. The Indians do not need a fifth starter again until June 12, when Bieber and Adam Plutko will be the top candidates to rejoin the rotation.

Bieber -- a fourth-round pick by the Indians in the 2016 MLB Draft -- rose from Class A Lake County to the Majors in a little more than a year. Between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season, the righty has gone 5-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts against three walks in 65 1/3 innings in 10 starts. Francona said his MLB debut was a proud moment for the player-development staffers.

"Organizationally, there's probably some people that were walking around with their chest out," Francona said. "As they should be. This kid was a fourth-round pick. He's kind of flown through and now he's at the Major League level and he's showing poise and all the things that [you look for]."

• Naquin, who is on the 10-day DL due to a left hamstring injury, worked out with Double-A Akron on Friday, according to Francona. The Indians manager noted that Naquin will likely play in his first Minor League rehab game this weekend.

• During the month of May, the Indians' offense ranked first in the Majors in weighted runs created plus (128), weighed on-base average (.363), slugging percentage (.499), average (.283) and runs scored (179), while leading the American League in WAR (8.1 per Fangraphs) and on-base percentage (.350).

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Guyer, Bradley Zimmer