Cabrera returns to Indians after stint with Venezuela

Cabrera returns to Indians after stint with Venezuela

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the clubhouse and the starting lineup for the Indians on Wednesday, following a stint with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Indians manager Terry Francona was thrilled to have the shortstop back in Arizona.

"I'd like to get everybody back," Francona said with a laugh. "I haven't figured out a way to have every WBC team lose, but it's nice to have guys back."

Venezuela was ousted from the tournament after going 1-2 as part of Pool C, which sent Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to the next round. Cabrera, playing in the international tournament for the first time, went 1-for-8 at the plate with two walks, three strikeouts and one run scored in three games for his country.

Cleveland still has four players -- infielder Mike Aviles (Puerto Rico), pitcher Vinnie Pestano (USA), catcher Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic) and pitcher Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico) -- participating in the Classic. Puerto Rico faced Italy in Pool 2 at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and Team USA and the D.R. will square off at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

During Team USA's 7-1 win over Puerto Rico on Tuesday night, Pestano faced Aviles in the seventh inning. Aviles, who is a utility player for Cleveland, drilled a pitch into center field for a single and smiled wide as he rounded first base. Pestano (two scoreless innings so far in the Classic) finished the frame unscathed.

Their teammates back in Arizona were paying attention, though.

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis -- Pestano's spring housemate -- took to Twitter to give his friend some grief.

Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) wrote: "@Themikeaviles just hit the hardest ball I've seen in awhile. Some bum must've been on the mound serving them up. @VinnieP52 #textbookswing."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.