What a difference a week can make. It was a week ago that the Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers that pushed the Indians’ record to 26-18, and extended their first place lead in the Central Division to 3 1/2 games.
Thursday the Indians had a much-needed off day as it gave them a chance to try to regroup from a disastrous week in which they lost five of six games. They followed their three-game sweep of Detroit by getting swept in a three game series in Chicago. Then they came home and lost two of three games to Kansas City.
The Indians were outscored, 48-26, in those six games. As a result, in the space of one week the Indians went from being in first place by 3 1/2 games to falling into second place, 1 1/2 games behind the division leading White Sox.
They also lost their Nos. 4 and 5 hitters.
Cleanup hitter Travis Hafner, the designated hitter, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, and Thursday had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He is expected to be sidelined for four-to-six weeks.
Catcher Carlos Santana has missed the last five games because of a mild concussion and is on the seven-day disabled list. He is eligible to come off the disabled Saturday, but Indians officials say there is no timetable for his return since he first must pass a series tests mandated by MLB for all players with concussions, before he can be cleared to play.
The Indians will begin a three-game series with Minnesota on Friday with another makeshift lineup, which is what they have been forced to use the last week.
In addition to Hafner and Santana, the Indians also are missing third baseman Jack Hannahan, who is on the disabled list with a strained calf.
The Indians might have been able to withstand the loss of three key players had their pitching staff been performing well, but that hasn’t been the case. The last turn through the starting rotation was disastrous.
In their last six games Indians starting pitchers are 1-5 with an 11.89 ERA.
Indians will skip Jimenez this time through rotation
–RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, who has struggled all year, will have his turn in the rotation skipped. Jimenez’s last start came on May 27. He won’t make his next start until June 5 in Detroit. Because of off days Thursday and Monday the Indians can get by with four starters until then. Jimenez, who gave up seven runs in four innings in a 12-6 loss to the White Sox in his last start, is 5-4 with a 5.79 ERA.
–C Lou Marson had the stitches removed from his lip on Thursday, and could be in the starting lineup Friday. Marson has missed the last three games after getting hit in the mouth by a pitch thrown by Chicago’s Gavin Floyd on May 27. Marson suffered a gash on the lip that required three stitches.
–RHP Chris Perez hasn’t blown a save since Opening Day. He is 17-for-17 in save chances since then, and opposing batters are hitting .182 against him.
–DH Travis Hafner underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic, according to the Indians. The surgery was to repair frayed meniscus in the knee. Hafner, who has been on the disabled list eight times in the last nine seasons, is expected to be out four-to-six weeks.
–C Luke Carlin stole second base in the second inning of Wednesday’s game. It was the first stolen base of Carlin’s major league career, and also his first career stolen base attempt.
BY THE NUMBERS: .123 — OF Shin-Soo Choo’s batting average vs. left-handed pitchers this year. Last year the left-handed hitting Choo sustained a broken thumb when hit by a pitch from Giants LHP Jonathan Sanchez.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Pitching sets the tone, and right now we’re not setting the tone very well.” — Manager Manny Acta of his starting rotation, which over the last six games is 1-5 with an 11.89 ERA.
–C Lou Marson (cut on lip) was hurt May 27, and he didn’t play May 28-30. He had his stitches removed May 31, and he is expected to return to the lineup June 1.
–DH Travis Hafner (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. He had surgery May 31 to repair a frayed meniscus, and he will be out until late June or early July.
–C Carlos Santana (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list May 26.
–3B Jack Hannahan (left calf strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 27. He had been out May 14-23 due to lower back stiffness.
–LHP Rafael Perez (strained left lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 26.
–OF Grady Sizemore (back surgery in March 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He was cleared to begin baseball activities in late April and took live batting practice May 16, but manager Manny Acta said he was unlikely to be ready June 3, the first day he’ll be eligible to be activated. There is no timetable for Sizemore’s return.
–RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. He might miss the entire season.