Mixed news for hurting Tribe outfielders

Mixed news for hurting Tribe outfielders

BOSTON -- Though one member of the Tribe's outfield is healing quickly, another may miss more time than expected.

Manager Manny Acta said on Thursday that the sore right wrist that has kept Michael Brantley out of the lineup for two straight days has not shown improvement.

"He's going to take batting practice tomorrow when we get [to Texas] and we'll make a decision after that, depending how he feels," Acta said.

The good news, though, is that Shin-Soo Choo (left thumb surgery) took batting practice on the field for the first time on Thursday and will continue to do so when the team travels to Arlington for a three-game set with the Rangers.

"It went OK, no pain or anything," Acta said. "He's had some sensation in that thumb. It was a good session. He didn't let it go. He's probably one or two [sessions] away from letting it go."

Choo's quick healing has allowed the Indians to carry on offensively without the addition of a hitter at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Acta doesn't expect the team to add anyone through waivers, though the team hasn't stopped looking for help.

"There's a very good chance that Choo is going to be back a lot sooner than expected, so we're just trying to stay afloat," Acta said. "It doesn't mean that if we get something before then ... That's good for us. But I'll leave that to [general manager Chris Antonetti]. I'm satisfied with all the effort we've put in so far."

With Choo out, Brantley nursing his injury and Grady Sizemore recovering from abdominal surgery, Austin Kearns has picked up more at-bats, specifically against left-handed pitching. Though July was the best month of the season for the 31-year-old, his batting average is still hovering around the Mendoza line.

"He has kind of an unorthodox hitting mechanics, and I guess for a guy who doesn't play every day with those mechanics, it doesn't make it any easier," Acta said. "He just dug himself into a big hole earlier in the year, and it's going to take a lot for the numbers [.208 average, two homers in 144 at-bats] to impress anybody.

"If we have our outfielders healthy, we probably wouldn't even need as much from an extra outfielder anyway, because our guys play every day, and they swing from the left side."