CLEVELAND -- Despite sitting atop the American League Central, the Indians have had to deal with a bunch of injuries as of late. But before their matchup with the Red Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona announced some good news for a couple of the
CLEVELAND -- Despite sitting atop the American League Central, the Indians have had to deal with a bunch of injuries as of late. But before their matchup with the Red Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona announced some good news for a couple of the team's injured players.
Francona said that both right-hander Josh Tomlin (left hamstring strain) and outfielder Michael Brantley (right ankle sprain) both took a step in the right direction with their respective rehabs. According to the manager, Tomlin threw a three-inning simulated game at Progressive Field on Monday, and All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley is back to throwing and hitting.
"The good part of it is even though [Tomlin's] really not ready to pitch in a game yet -- I don't think he's strong enough when he tests out with the trainers -- but the good part is he is still able to do the sim game," Francona said. "So when he gets the go-ahead, he'll come quick because he's still pitching. So that's really good.
"Brantley is doing baseball activities. He's not been given the go-ahead to run yet. But again, a little bit like Tomlin, because he is able to do baseball stuff, when he is able to run, it will come quick, hopefully."
Tomlin sustained the hamstring injury while fielding a comebacker in the fourth inning of a game against the White Sox on July 30. Although he finished the inning, he was removed from the game before the fifth inning and placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day.
Brantley injured his ankle on Aug. 8 in the fifth inning against the Rockies. The left fielder took a few steps over to his left on a routine fly ball to center fielder Bradley Zimmer, but he began to hobble before sitting in the outfield grass. The Indians placed him on the DL the next day.
• Jason Kipnis was not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Boston, as Francona said he wanted to give the second baseman an off-day. Kipnis returned from a right hamstring strain on Aug. 6, but he re-aggravated the injury on Aug. 10 against the Rays. Kipnis was then given a few days off -- which helped him avoid another DL stint -- and returned to action on Aug. 13. He has played in every game since.
"I actually tried to do it a couple days ago and he really fought me on it," Francona said, "which I think is a good sign, because it means he's starting to feel better. But I don't want to overdo him too quick. He's still not 100 percent, so we don't want to overdo that."
• Although the Indians placed Abraham Almonte on the 10-day DL on Friday with a left hamstring strain, the outfielder hit against Tomlin during Monday's simulated game.
"I'm hopeful that when his time is up, we can maybe get him out to get a [rehab] game before," Francona said. "It's probably going to be pretty close."
• Francona said that right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf strain) and his wife are expecting a baby soon. Because of the baby and Chisenhall's injury, the skipper said that he has no timetable as to when Chisenhall will return to play in a rehab game in the Minors.
"I told Lonnie, 'Just have fun. Good luck. Give me a call when things slow down,' and then we'll kind of figure out what's best for him."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.