Tribe notes: Duncan sent down, may return for Brantley

CLEVELAND — David Huff was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to start Sunday’s postponed series finale with Minnesota, and as was expected, the left-hander replaced a position player on the roster — outfielder Shelley Duncan.

Duncan, who is hitting .246 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 43 games, was optioned back to Columbus. He has been up and down between the majors and minors all season, and could be back with the Indians again soon.

Outfielder Michael Brantley is in jeopardy of landing on the disabled list thanks to a lingering right wrist injury and Duncan could be recalled before his required 10-day stay in the minors if Brantley is placed on the injured list.

Brantley has been out of the lineup for the past five games, including Sunday’s rainout. He is scheduled to be examined Tuesday when the Indians open a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.

Manager Manny Acta said if Brantley was not given clearance Tuesday, it was likely a DL situation.

If Brantley is sidelined, the Indians could choose to promote outfielder Travis Buck, but Duncan is the likely candidate. Buck has already cleared waivers once to return the Indians and would have to do it again.


Had the Indians played Sunday, rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis would have missed his second straight game with what the Indians are calling right side soreness.

Acta said Kipnis sustained the injury from “all the diving and running around” in a 13-inning, 3-2 win over the Tigers on Tuesday.

Kipnis wore tape on his side in the clubhouse Sunday, but was confident he could play after an off day today.

Losing Kipnis for an extended spell would be a blow to an already inconsistent Cleveland offense. He’s hitting .279 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in 18 games, and has been extremely productive as of late after a slow start to his big league career.

Next up

The Indians are off today, beginning their three-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m.

Ubaldo Jimenez (7-9, 4.37 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing RHP Gavin Floyd (10-10, 4.53), while Fausto Carmona (5-12, 5.12) starts Wednesday (8:10) against LHP Mark Buehrle (10-5, 3.06).

Justin Masterson (9-7, 2.69) starts the series finale Thursday (8:10), while the White Sox counter RHP Phil Humber (8-8, 3.67).

The Indians have lost six of seven games to the White Sox this season, including both at Chicago.

Not in this house

The postponement dashed the Indians’ all-time home run leader Jim Thome’s final chance of the series to hit his career 600th homer in Cleveland, where he broke into the big leagues and played from 1991-2002.

Thome started the first two games and went 0-for-5 with a pair of walks, hitting the ball out of the infield just once.

Provided he hasn’t accomplished the milestone yet, he will get another opportunity to do it in front of his former hometown fans when the Twins make their final trip to Cleveland on Sept. 23-25.

Thome, who has nine homers in 181 at-bats this season, has 20 in his career against the Indians.

Minor details

  • Columbus overcame a rough outing for Mitch Talbot (six runs on six hits over two innings) to beat Rochester 11-7 Saturday. Clippers third baseman Jared Goedert went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three runs and two RBIs, while center fielder Tim Fedroff went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBIs.
  • High-A Kinston DH Jeremie Tice went 2-for-5 with his ninth homer, two runs and two RBIs Saturday in a 9-7 victory (13 innings) over Salem.

Roundin’ third

  • The Indians are batting .266 and averaging 4.86 runs over their last 14 games. Cleveland has recorded 10 or more hits in eight of those games, while hitting homers in 12 of them.
  • Hall of Famer and former Indians pitcher Gaylord Perry threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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