CLEVELAND – The Indians are optimistic concerning the progress of injured shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (fractured left forearm), but that hasn’t hastened the projected return date for the team’s leadoff hitter.
Because the Indians feel Cabrera will require a lengthy minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the big league club, he still isn’t expected back until late July or early August.
Acta said Cabrera has begun playing catch and is expected to begin taking groundballs by the end of the week.
“It’s going well,” Acta said. “I can’t put an exact date on (a rehab assignment) but we’re probably shooting for after the All-Star break. A nice, short rehab’s not going to do it. He’s missed too much time.”
Cabrera has been sidelined since May 18, with Acta saying he would need more than 15 rehab at-bats before being considered for activation from the disabled list.
“He needs enough (at-bats) to feel like he can play nine innings consistently for three or four days in a row and he’s not overmatched,” Acta said. “It’s just about him being able to swing the bat.”
Prior to the injury, Cabrera was batting .287 with a home run and seven RBIs in 33 games.
Though Acta is happy to return to American League play following a 2-7 interleague road trip, he is more pleased with the opportunity to play designated hitter Travis Hafner.
“That’s the main thing, getting Travis back in the lineup,” Acta said. “It was just completely unfair for him to go over there and have five at-bats in nine games. He can get five at-bats in one game here.”
Hafner was used strictly as a pinch hitter against three National League opponents, going 0-for-5 and getting hit by a pitch. He didn’t hit a ball out of the infield.
“We knew what the situation was going in on the interleague road trip,” said Hafner, who had begun to pick up pace at the plate prior to the trip. “I just didn’t swing the bat well.”
Outfielder Michael Brantley and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco are likely to be the next players promoted from Triple-A Columbus, as the Indians continue to instill more youth to their 25-man roster.
Brantley, Cleveland’s opening-day starter in left field, entered Monday batting .352 (31-for-88) with two homers, 13 RBIs and 14 runs in 21 games for the Clippers this month.
“He’s making a lot of progress,” Acta said. “He’s playing well. He’s close.”
Carrasco, who was acquired from the Phillies last year in the trade for Cliff Lee, is 6-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 14 starts for Columbus.
“We’re monitoring Carrasco,” Acta said. “He barely missed making the ballclub out of spring training, so he could be one of those guys (promoted).”
Double-A Akron third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and Class A Lake County catcher Chun-Hsiu Chen have been selected to play in the XM All-Star Futures Game. Chisenhall, Cleveland’s first-round draft pick (29th overall) in 2008, was hitting .280 with six homers and 27 RBIs in 54 games through Sunday, while Chen, who was signed as a minor league free agent, was at .315 with six homers and 37 RBIs in 54 games.
• Second baseman Jason Kipnis entered Monday with hits in 12 of his first 14 games since being promoted to Akron. Kipnis, a second-round draft pick last year, was batting .306 through Sunday with nine homers, 38 RBIs and 46 runs in 68 games with Akron and advanced Class A Kinston.
Infielder Jason Donald missed his third straight game with a jammed left wrist, but is expected to return to the lineup today. He took infield but not batting practice prior to Monday’s series opener with Toronto.
• Right-hander Shane Lindsay cleared waivers and was outrighted to Akron. Lindsay was claimed off waivers from the Yankees before being designated for assignment when infielder Jayson Nix was added to the 40-man roster.
• The Indians signed two more draft picks, agreeing to terms with outfielder Aaron Siliga, a 17th-round selection out of Oceanside High School (Calif.), and left-hander Kyle Petter, a 34th-round pick out of El Camino College (Calif.). Cleveland has signed 13 of its 50 draft choices, but none in the top 10.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or email@example.com.