CLEVELAND — Wounded Wahoos
- Carlos Santana (concussion list) took ground balls Monday and Francona said it was realistic that he could be activated Friday.
- First baseman Nick Swisher (hyperextended left knee) was scheduled to begin land-based activities Monday. “He was kind of pushing for it yesterday so he must be feeling pretty good,” Francona said of Swisher.”
The Indians made a bullpen move, recalling left-hander Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus, while optioning right-hander Mark Lowe back to the Clippers.
Though this is his second stint with the Indians, all of Hagadone’s appearances this year have come with Columbus — 2-3, 3.09 ERA in 18 games.
Lowe, signed at the end of spring training, appeared in four games for Cleveland, allowing a run over 4.1 innings.
The Indians also saw hard-throwing right-hander Blake Wood lost on waivers to Kansas City. Wood made the team out of training camp, but struggled with control and was designated for assignment.
Brantley or bust
The Indians finally have a player among the top 10 in fan All-Star voting — left fielder Michael Brantley, who was ninth among AL outfielders in the latest voting results.
That’s not good enough for Francona.
“I wish he wasn’t ninth. I wish he was first or second,” he said. “He’s one of the better players in the game. And it’s not just hitter, it’s baserunner, outfielder, teammate. He’s gotten to that point where I think you’re going to start seeing national recognition.”
Though they expect a boost in attendance, according to a team spokesman, the Indians have seen no significant ticket spike since the announcement that Browns first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel would throw out the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday.
Fellow first-round draft pick Justin Gilbert will join Manziel, while Browns running back Ben Tate will toss out the first pitch tonight.
The focus is clearly on Manziel, Cleveland’s new rock star quarterback. Even Francona is excited to see him in person.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Francona said when asked if he had “Johnny Football” fever.