Tribe Notes – Keeping the momentum going, Bieber and injury updates

The Indians look to pick up where they left off

James Rapien
July 12, 2019 - 12:36 am

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians returned to Progressive Field on Thursday looking to pick up where they left off prior to the All-Star break.

They’ve won six straight games and are 21-8 since June 4, which gives them the best winning percentage in baseball (.724) over that span. Manager Terry Francona told his players to get away from the game for a few days during the break. He held a workout on Thursday evening to ensure he team will be ready to go on Friday against Minnesota.

“The Twins will get our attention. We know how good they are,” Francona said. “I think they need to get away, it’s good for them. But, you don’t want to get away so much that when you come back, you play that first game and your body’s sore.”

The Indians begin a 10-game home stand Friday; the first three will be against the Twins. Minnesota led Cleveland by 11.5 games in the American League Central on June 4. The Indians have cut that deficit to 5.5 going into Friday’s game.

Jose Ramirez is looking to rebound after a tough first half of the season. The two-time All-Star posted a .318/.392/.568 slash line in the final 12 games before the All-Star break. If he can continue to look like his former self, the Indians’ offense could look much different.

“He’s barreling up balls like crazy, they’re just foul,” Francona said. “If we can get him going, it would kind of give us a different gear.”

Moving Past Tuesday

All-Star MVP Shane Bieber didn’t even know he was going to participate in the ‘Midsummer Classic’ one week ago. The 24-year-old’s life changed forever after Tuesday night’s performance in the All-Star Game. He took the time to reflect on the moment and says the crowd played a big role in his success.

“I really can’t thank the City of Cleveland and the fans enough for really providing me that moment,” he said. “That’s something I’ll cherish forever and I’ll never forget.”

Bieber has an 8-3 record and has arguably been the Indians’ best starting pitcher this season. He’s scheduled to start on Sunday against the Twins.

Bieber relaxed with family on Wednesday and took multiple naps. It had been a wild week for him, but he's looking forward to get back into his normal routine.

“It’s nice to just be back with my teammates and get back into the swing of things and ready to go,” he said.

Injury Updates

Corey Kluber was re-examined on Thursday, after being cleared to throw two weeks ago. He built up enough arm strength to throw at 135 feet. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has yet to throw a bullpen session, but that could change if he continues to progress.

Danny Salazar pitched for Double-A Akron on Thursday night, allowing one run and two hits in 2⅔ innings. It was his first start of the season, after spending the past few months rehabbing in Arizona.

Pitcher Jefry Rodriguez (shoulder strain) is throwing up to 90 feet and Dan Otero (shoulder) has thrown multiple bullpen sessions.

Bradley Zimmer continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. He’s in the cages daily and throwing from 125 feet.

For more on the second half of the Indians' season, go here.