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Youthful Zimmer still learning the ropes

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Bradley Zimmer has a mere 117 games under his belt in the Majors, so it's no surprise to know that he's still learning on the fly.

Friday night served as an example. When the game against the Orioles began, the wind was blowing in and Zimmer was playing a shallower-than-usual center field. That proved to be an issue in the fourth inning, when Baltimore's Chris Davis crushed a ball that sailed over the speedy Zimmer's head, leading to a double.

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BALTIMORE -- Bradley Zimmer has a mere 117 games under his belt in the Majors, so it's no surprise to know that he's still learning on the fly.

Friday night served as an example. When the game against the Orioles began, the wind was blowing in and Zimmer was playing a shallower-than-usual center field. That proved to be an issue in the fourth inning, when Baltimore's Chris Davis crushed a ball that sailed over the speedy Zimmer's head, leading to a double.

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"When [the wind] sort of let up a little bit, he probably got caught a little too shallow," manager Terry Francona said Saturday. "He's real young, but he's done a helluva job in center field."

Video: CLE@BAL: Zimmer makes smooth sliding grab on Jones

Zimmer is no stranger to center, having played it since his high school days. But playing it at the MLB level is a different thing altogether, and Zimmer is still making adjustments, though Francona has been pleased with the 25-year-old's work thus far.

"I just think that sometimes, when guys are young, they're still young," Francona said. "He can go get it pretty good. He's done a really good job in center field for us. I don't think, since he's come up, that he's missed a cut-off man -- things that maybe with younger guys, you don't see right away."

On offense, Zimmer has been one of the few Indians hitters to reside above the Mendoza Line, in part due to a more closed stance at the plate.

"He's got such long levers, so those guys, when they connect, it's good. But you've got to try to be real short, because the levers are so long," Francona said.

Worth noting
• Cleveland acquired utility infielder Jon Berti from the Blue Jays on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations. Berti, 28, will be assigned to Triple-A Columbus. Berti was drafted by Toronto in the 18th round in 2011 and had spent his entire career with the organization. He played in four games with Triple-A Buffalo this season.

• Pitcher Trevor Bauer was far more critical of his outing in Friday's loss than Francona, and the manager noted that if Bauer can turn a negative into a positive, he's fine with it.

"If it helps them, if they use it to spur themselves on, that's OK, but if they beat themselves up, that's not good. I think Trev, that's just his personality."

• Injured third baseman Gio Urshela (right hamstring strain) went 1-for-3 with a run scored Friday in Triple-A Columbus' 13-5 loss to Rochester, while playing seven innings. Urshela is now 2-for-10 in four games with the Clippers.

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians, Bradley Zimmer