Gimenez getting more time of late

Gimenez getting more time of late

ANAHEIM -- This has been an eventful road trip for utility man Chris Gimenez. He made it back into the United States after losing his passport in Toronto, and he's made it into the Indians' lineup on a regular basis.

Gimenez knows he has a home in the States. Whether he has a home in the Tribe's lineup depends on whether he makes the most of the opportunity given to him by manager Eric Wedge in recent days.

After riding the bench for much of his first month and a half in the big leagues, Gimenez has started four of the Tribe's first seven games on this trip. After getting his last two starts in the corner outfield, he's expected to catch for starter David Huff on Tuesday night, when the Indians continue their three-game set against the Angels at Angel Stadium.

"Hopefully it's a sign that they trust me a little more," Gimenez said. "I think it's definitely a positive sign. I'll take anything I can get."

Gimenez didn't get much playing time initially, but Wedge said last week that he didn't think the time on the bench was hurtful to the 26-year-old's development. Wedge said Gimenez is the type of player who learns from his surroundings, and he thinks that's shown on the field in recent days.

"He's going to be a heady baseball player," Wedge said. "He's a smart kid, and he takes it all in. He's talking to the right people, in regard to his fellow players, and his versatility is unmatched."

It's no secret that Wedge is enamored with versatility, and Gimenez provides it with his ability to play the outfield corners, first base and catcher.

"I really enjoy [moving around]," Gimenez said. "It's definitely a challenge. But I have to go in with the mindset that if I'm playing the outfield, I'm the best outfielder on the team. If I'm playing first base, I'm the best first baseman. It's not a cocky thing. It's a confidence you have to have in your skills and what you're doing."

There are, of course, learning experiences along the way, such as when Gimenez, manning left field Monday night, couldn't haul in a Kendry Morales homer that struck his wrist, just below his outstretched glove. And this came after he swiped a would-be homer at the wall in right field in Seattle on Saturday.

But Gimenez, who has driven in four runs on the trip, has shown a willingness to learn. And as a native of Northern California with multiple family members, including both sets of grandparents, watching him at Angel Stadium this week, he's thankful for this recent upswing in playing time.

"It's kind of sweet," he said.

Pitching matchup
CLE: LHP David Huff (5-4, 6.39 ERA)
Huff bent but didn't break in a win over the Blue Jays on Thursday. He went 7 2/3 innings -- the second-longest of his 13 Major League starts -- and allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk, four strikeouts and two homers. On the whole, he did a good job keeping the ball down and not letting innings get away from him. Huff is 5-2 over his last nine starts and has shown improvement at this level. Tuesday will be the first career appearance against the Angels for the Southern California native.

LAA: RHP Jered Weaver (10-3, 3.57 ERA)
Weaver struggled early against the Twins on Thursday, allowing three runs in the first inning, but he settled down to retire 14 of the next 15 batters he faced with the one runner reaching base on a hit by pitch. Weaver simply battled back from a rough start, tossing seven-plus innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one. Weaver is 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA in six career starts against the Indians.

Tidbits
Fausto Carmona will make at least one more start for Triple-A Columbus before the Indians deem him ready to rejoin the big league rotation. Carmona took the 3-2 loss to Pawtucket on Sunday, giving up three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings. He is now 1-3 with a 3.55 ERA in five starts for Columbus, walking six and striking out 27 in 33 innings. The Indians sent Carmona, their No. 2 starter at season's outset, to rookie ball in early June, and they feel his progress in the Minors has been steady. "The last thing we want is to cut it short at the end," Wedge said. ... Carl Pavano gave up consecutive homers to Juan Rivera, Morales and Mike Napoli in the second inning on Monday night. Pavano was the first Tribe pitcher to give up homers to three straight batters since Dave Burba did so on June 29, 2001, against the Royals, when Jermaine Dye, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Beltran all went deep on him. ... Tuesday's game will mark the first time the Indians will face a right-handed starter since July 17. The Tribe faced a lefty starter in nine straight games. According to STATS LLC, it was the longest such streak by an Indians club since at least 1919 (data from 1901-18 was not available). ... Travis Hafner has a .958 OPS since coming off the disabled list on June 5.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Indians (Aaron Laffey, 4-2, 3.71) at Angels (John Lackey, 6-4, 4.22), 3:35 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Indians (Jeremy Sowers, 3-7, 5.15) vs. Tigers (Edwin Jackson, 7-5, 2.59), 7:05 p.m. ET

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.