Luplow lands on IL with right hamstring strain

August 6th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Indians held their collective breath when Jordan Luplow was slow to get up at third base following an awkward slide on a stolen base in the seventh inning against the Rangers on Monday night.

What they were hoping was just a leg cramp turned out to be a right hamstring strain that prompted the 25-year-old to land on the injured list Tuesday afternoon for the first time in his big league career. The Tribe called up outfielder Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.

“[Luplow] had his MRI this morning and it showed he had some bleeding down there,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t think it’s a terrible pull, but enough certainly to go on the IL, so Greg Allen will be here in time for the game.”

This will be Allen’s fourth stint with the Indians after getting sent back down to Columbus last Thursday. In his most recent stretch with the Tribe, he hit .313 with eight runs and seven RBIs in 18 games. While Allen started to swing the bat well at times throughout July, Francona knows the Indians won’t be able to replace Luplow’s dominance against left-handed pitching.

In 123 plate appearances against southpaws this year, Luplow has hit .305 with a 1.073 OPS, 10 homers, 21 RBIs, eight doubles and 17 walks.

"He’s quietly been a force against left-handers and we’ll miss that," Francona said. "Hopefully he’s not out very long. We’ve had guys here like [Ryan] Raburn, along the way, that have done similar stuff that really helps you, that maybe doesn’t catch the headlines. But when you put them in the lineup, they’ve got a really potent bat and it really helps. So we’ll miss that."

He’s (still) not Justin

Shane Bieber has heard the Justin Bieber jokes since middle school, and clearly they won’t be going away anytime soon.

The Indians pitcher didn’t get an invite to big league Spring Training in 2018, but quickly made his way from Double-A to the Tribe by the end of May. But missing camp in Goodyear, Ariz., with his Major League club meant not having a submission for a nickname that would be placed on the back of his Players’ Weekend jersey in August. Indians clubhouse and equipment manager Tony Amato pulled him aside during the season and told the righty that he’d try to still get him a jersey in time if he could come up with a nickname fast.

“I had to come up with something real quick,” Bieber said. “So I texted some of my buddies and one of my buddies was actually the one who told me to play into [the Justin jokes] like that. So it ended up working out.”

Bieber selected “Not Justin” to sport on the back of his Players’ Weekend threads, a name that received a lot of attention. When Bieber showed up to Spring Training this year, Amato didn’t even give him a chance to debate whether he’d use the same name.

“He was like going through everybody, 'What do you want? What do you want?’" Bieber said. “He got to me and was like, ‘You’re gonna stay the same.'”

What began just as a funny joke, embracing the comments he’s heard for years, became a timely choice as this year’s Players’ Weekend (Aug. 23-25) falls just weeks after the 24-year-old spotted a typo, referring to him as Justin, on a Topps baseball card.

“[It’s] selling for a lot,” Bieber said with a laugh. “One of my friends who says he’s the one who came up with ‘Not Justin,’ he sent [the baseball card listing] and was like, ‘Wow, I’m so proud of myself,’ or something like that. So yeah, just the way it’s all kind of come about is pretty funny.”

Bieber tweeted a picture of the baseball card and got a response from Justin Bieber, saying, “I feel like we have a special connection.” The Indians responded, asking the singer to stop by Progressive Field to receive an “I’m Justin” jersey and throw out a first pitch. But even if he doesn’t take the offer, the Indians hurler thinks their paths will inevitably cross.

“Obviously no pressure,” Bieber said. “Just want to make sure nobody’s like forcing anything, because I’m confident some day down the road, we’ll meet and be able to share some stories and hang out.”

This date in Indians history

2007: Paul Byrd surrendered just four hits and recorded only one strikeout in a 99-pitch shutout to lead Cleveland to a 4-0 win against the Twins.