October 31, 2014

Medina
Rain
47°F

Indians notes: Cabrera fading fast in second half

CLEVELAND — Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the lineup Tuesday, serving as the designated hitter, but it appears the All-Star shortstop will not play on a regular basis over the remainder of the season.

“I don’t think you’re going to see him in there every day the rest of the year,” said manager Manny Acta, who hinted that younger players would get the majority of the opportunities over the final 33 games. “At the same time, we’re here to play every game hard and here to play hard every day.”

Cabrera, who entered Tuesday 1-for-19 over his last five games, has faded in the second half over the past two seasons, hitting just .248 over his last 56 games to lower his average from .300 to .274 this year. He was at .293 on Aug. 1 of last year before finishing with a .273 average.

“I don’t know whether it’s necessarily a trend, but he did play very hard in the first half, and he probably needs to take some games off,” Acta said of the five-year veteran who has played in 118 of Cleveland’s 129 games this year.

Cabrera’s power numbers are down this season. He entered Tuesday with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs after hitting 25 homers and driving in a team-high 92 runs in 2011.

Cabrera’s weight has been an issue at various times throughout his career, and it was called into question again when he reported to training camp this spring. He is listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds in the Cleveland media guide.

 

Testing, testing

Right-hander Roberto Hernandez (right ankle) played catch in the outfield Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today before a decision is made on whether he will make his next start Saturday.

Hernandez left Monday’s outing after 2 1/3 innings, injuring the ankle while backing up home plate.

He is 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts since being activated from MLB’s suspension list.

 

Chiz kid

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (fractured right forearm) took ground balls and ran the bases Tuesday, but is still a few days away from beginning a minor-league rehab assignment, according to Acta.

Chisenhall is expected to rejoin the Indians before the season is complete.

 

Minor details

Triple-A Columbus second baseman Cord Phelps was named to the International League’s postseason All-Star team. Phelps, a third-round draft pick in 2008, entered Tuesday batting .277 with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in 128 games. He led the IL with 78 runs through Monday.

(Bullet) RHP Jordan Cooper was named Cleveland’s minor league player of the week (Aug. 19-26), going 2-0 with 12 scoreless innings on 11 hits in two starts for Advanced Class A Carolina. On the season, Cooper, a ninth-round draft choice in 2010, is 8-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 30 appearances (six starts) for Carolina and Class A Lake County.

 

Roundin’ third

All seven of the Indians’ shutout losses had come in their last 71 games through Monday. Cleveland was not shut out over its first 57 games to start the season. … Michael Brantley’s .310 batting average after the sixth inning ranked seventh in the American League through Monday. … Tonight, 7:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM. Kluber (0-1, 8.56) vs. Blackley (4-3, 3.52).

 

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.