Indians closer Perez out a month with strain

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez could be sidelined for a month because of a strained shoulder.

Perez, who saved 39 games last season, will not throw for the next week to 10 days. Once he resumes his program, the Indians estimate he will be pitching in games in three or four weeks. The injury will prevent Perez from playing for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

This is the second straight spring training in which Perez has been injured. He strained a muscle in his left side during his first bullpen session on Feb. 23 last year but recovered in time for opening day, when he allowed three runs in the ninth against Toronto in a game the Blue Jays won in 16 innings.

“I’m not saying nothing,” Perez told reporters Friday as he drove out of Cleveland’s spring training complex. He later tweeted: “Small hurdle at an in-opportune time. I feel better now than I did last year with the oblique..Still plenty of time.”

The right-hander, an All-Star in 2011 and ’12, has 98 saves over the past three seasons.

Cleveland also said right-hander Frank Hermann sprained a ligament in his pitching elbow on Monday but outfielder Michael Brantley could return to limited baseball activities next week. Brantley needed 15 stitches to close a cut on his left forearm after he was accidentally spiked Monday by Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson.