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Smoke signals

• The All-Star break is within sight, and Francona said the Indians "will use it to our advantage" to tinker with the rotation for the second half. Along with pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Francona is meeting with his pitchers to figure out how best to assemble his starting staff. The manager did mention that he would prefer to have All-Star Justin Masterson make the first start of the second half in Minnesota.

"Even if he pitches [in the All-Star Game], that would give him three days. That would be about perfect," Francona said. "And then we'll work from there."

• While the Indians decided to make Salazar their starter on Thursday, Francona admitted that prospect Trevor Bauer was considered as well. Bauer, 22, has made four starts for Cleveland this season, going 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA.

"I think at this point, this time, we thought it'd be in his best interest to kind of stay where he is pitching," Francona said. "He's trying to fight through the mechanical things and everything. His last outing with us was a pretty rocky one. So, you balance development, winning at the big league level, all those things, and decide to let him stay where he is."

• Injured catcher Lou Marson, who last appeared in a baseball game on June 7 in Triple-A Columbus, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Sunday, the same day Cleveland designated Carrasco. Marson is on the DL because of right shoulder inflammation.

"He's trying to ramp up on his throwing program. He's able to hit," Francona said. "He's running into some road blocks from time to time, so it hasn't gone as quickly as I think we've hoped, but that's where he's at now."

Marson's shoulder has limited his playing time with the Indians to three games in April. Cleveland acquired him in a Deadline deal with Philadelphia four years ago.

Quote to note

"I've been really impressed with his game clock, like the speed of the game. He sees everything on the field very well. And again, when you play against him, you knew he was a really good player. But then when you're with him every day, you see how the game's not very fast for him."
-- Francona, on shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for
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