CHICAGO -- The Indians are more than pleased with their present -- entering Wednesday on a 13-game winning streak a year after taking home the American League pennant -- but manager Terry Francona is still working on the club's future.
The Indians called up a pair of top prospects straight from Double-A Akron on Friday in a series of September callups -- Indians No. 1 prospectFrancisco Mejia and No. 8 prospect Greg Allen. Each has earned playing time for baseball's hottest team, leaving an impression on Francona.
"They don't look out of place, which is a compliment to them," Francona said. "It's fun to watch. I didn't want those guys just to come up and feel like they were here to watch. There was a reason we got them in there, because we want them to be a part of what we're doing."
Each has collected a start and a pair of other milestones in their first few days with the big league club. Mejia, who's considered the 15th-best prospect in all of baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, has opened his career 1-for-6. He earned his first start on Monday and collected his first hit and RBI in a 5-3 win over the White Sox. Allen, off to a 3-for-13 start, earned his first start on Sunday and collected his first Major League RBIs with a two-run double in Tuesday's 9-4 win over Chicago.
Mejia's future centers around his strengths at the plate. The switch-hitting catching prospect has worked at various spots defensively and may not fit the typical catcher frame at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, but his approach at the plate has stood out to Francona.
"I think we've already seen with Mejia that he's going to be a really good hitter," Francona said. "Finding out if he's going to catch, is he going to play third, is he going to end up in left, is he going to end up at first? I'm not sure of that. But he can hit. We're probably going to find a place for him. He's spending time out there. I saw him out there the other day going over scouting reports, so he's trying. It's fun to watch that. This is really his first chance to ever -- in Spring Training, you don't really ever go over hitters very much."
Allen, a speedy switch-hitting center fielder, has shown polish defensively in his short time in the Majors, and has turned heads with his bat. Francona lauded the 24-year-old Allen's maturity, and said the time up with the Major League club will be fruitful.
"Greg Allen is still a work in progress at the plate, which is, my goodness, he's Double-A, we know that," Francona said. "But he can go catch the ball in center field. He got a couple of big hits."
• Jay Bruce was a late scratch Wednesday, extending his absence with a stiff neck to five straight games. The veteran outfielder, who has hit 33 homers with 89 RBIs and an .849 OPS this season with the Mets and Indians, was originally in the lineup batting fifth and playing right field against the White Sox.
• Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer has passed all internal tests, but is still awaiting doctor approval for him to return to the field, Francona said. Zimmer has been in the concussion protocol since leaving Saturday's game early after diving to try to snag a John Holaday double in the third inning.
• Francona said Jason Kipnis, who worked out with the club Tuesday in Chicago, returned to Cleveland on Wednesday as he recovers from a strained right hamstring.