CLEVELAND – The Indians are getting closer to regaining a fully healthy roster in the coming weeks.
Manager Terry Francona revealed the latest regarding the injury statuses of Michael Brantley (right ankle sprain), Danny Salazar (right shoulder soreness) and Brandon Guyer prior to Friday’s series opener vs. Minnesota.
Brantley headlines the pack as the closest to an activation after landing on the 10-day disabled list with an ankle injury suffered earlier in the month at Kansas City (6/2-6/4).
“He was going to go run out (on Friday), but it’s wet,” said Francona. “He’s going to go run on the treadmill. He thinks he’s feeling pretty good, but that will be his first kind of getting aggressive on the running. Then dependent on how he feels, hopefully we’ll do more tomorrow.”
The 2014 American League All-Star selection will stay in the three-hole when he is medically cleared, a spot where he has slashed .296/.360/.432 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 28 RBIs this season.
The gradual process for Salazar is still in its early stages with the 27-year-old right-hander working alongside pitching coach Tony Arnold at Double-A Akron.
“He’s going to throw a sim game Monday in Akron,” Francona said. “About two innings. We’ll see how that goes, and then the next step, whether it’s another sim game or in an actual Minor League game, is kind of dependent on how he feels and what the trainers and everybody thinks.”
Salazar has done little to solidify a role amid the Tribe rotation, going 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 1.8 HR/9, 4.58 BB/9 and .274 opposing batting average, all of which are career-highs.
Guyer will play this weekend at Triple-A Columbus after rain washed away its series opener on Friday vs. Toledo.There is currently no timetable for when the 31-year-old outfielder will be activated off the 10-day DL.
“He’s going to play right field,” said Francona this past weekend in Orioles. “Hopefully go nine innings. We are gonna kind of just go day to day with him, because I really think he’s champing at the bit to come back.”
When he comes back, Guyer will likely assume a platoon role alongside Lonnie Chisenhall against left-handed pitching. The right fielder is batting .182/.237/.291 with three doubles, one home run and five RBIs in 21 games (55 at-bats).
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.