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Naquin's rehab nearly done; Zimmer set to begin

@MandyBell02
May 31, 2019

CLEVELAND – When outfielder Tyler Naquin wraps up his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus, Bradley Zimmer could take his spot, assuming all goes to plan. There's a good chance that Naquin will play his final game at Triple-A on Saturday, and Zimmer might have just finished his stint in Arizona

CLEVELAND – When outfielder Tyler Naquin wraps up his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus, Bradley Zimmer could take his spot, assuming all goes to plan.

There's a good chance that Naquin will play his final game at Triple-A on Saturday, and Zimmer might have just finished his stint in Arizona on Friday. Indians manager Terry Francona said Zimmer will come back into the facility in Goodyear, Ariz., on Saturday to be evaluated before determining the next step.

“If everything’s good, he’ll go out and he’ll work out,” Francona said. “Then he’ll start playing in Columbus.”

It’s been nearly a full calendar year since Zimmer played in a game at any professional level, his last appearance coming on June 10 with Columbus. He underwent right shoulder surgery in July and has been sidelined since. The 26-year-old was making quick progress throughout Spring Training, before experiencing a setback with an oblique injury while throwing to home from the outfield at the end of March.

“It really set him back,” Francona said. “In the long run, maybe it’s nature’s way of saying he needed more [time]. You know what I mean? I have a feeling those things have a way of working out.”

While Zimmer appears likely to join the Clippers early next week, Naquin could be leaving just as his teammate walks in the clubhouse. The Indians’ plan was to have Naquin DH for Columbus on Friday and play a full nine innings in the outfield on Saturday, but they were forced to switch gears when he ran into travel problems.

After his flight and rental car were both canceled following his game in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday, Naquin was finally able to make a four-hour drive to Durham, N.C., for the Clippers’ series against the Bulls. He was now scheduled to just work out on Friday and play on Saturday. The Tribe will then determine whether he’s ready to rejoin the big league club on Monday. In four rehab games, Naquin is hitting .357 with two homers, four RBIs, one double, one triple and a 1.357 OPS.

“They’ve been even tracking his speed and everything, and he’s doing fine,” Francona said.

Goody having hard time in Triple-A
After undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last July, Nick Goody was ready for big league Spring Training in February. He threw seven innings, logging a 3.86 ERA with the team in Goodyear, Ariz., before beginning the season with Columbus. Since then, his numbers have gone in the wrong direction. In 21 1/3 frames, he’s pitched to a 8.86 ERA, allowing eight homers and 11 walks with 28 strikeouts and a 1.78 WHIP.

“Yeah, he’s having a hard time,” Francona said. “Supposedly his stuff has been fine. Kind of like it was this spring. But he’s making a lot of mistakes, and I think his confidence maybe took a hit.

"He’s somebody we certainly haven’t forgotten about. Just sometimes it’s not as easy as you want it to be.”

This date in Indians history
2009: Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning to lift the Tribe to a 5-4 win over the Yankees.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.