CLEVELAND — Leonys Martin missed Wednesday’s game with what manager Terry Francona called intestinal turmoil. It created an opportunity for Brandon Guyer to make his Indians debut in center field.
“(Martin) got sick in the middle of (Tuesday) night. He got real sick,” Francona said. “I’d been talking to Guyer about taking balls in center field and I just thought tonight might not be a bad night to do it. One, it’d be good for him. I think it’d be really good for our team. And I want to see how it looks. It may open up something for us where we pinch hit. It might just give us another alternative.”
Though he had not appeared in a game in center with Cleveland prior to Wednesday, Guyer isn’t unfamiliar with the position, playing there in 52 games for Tampa Bay from 2014-16. Guyer also played a handful of games in center during a minor league rehab stint from May 25-June 10.
Though he was batting just .203 through Tuesday, Guyer has been swinging the bat better of late, entering Wednesday hitting .324 (12-for-37) with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs over his last 21 games.
Since leaving the disabled list Friday, left-hander Andrew Miller had made three scoreless appearances through Tuesday, but his velocity has lagged.
According to Statcast, Miller has averaged 91.8 mph on his fastball, down from 93.1 mph over the first two months of the season and 94.1 mph last year.
Miller could be feeling his way back after a two-month stay on the injured list with right knee inflammation.
“That’s exactly what it is,” Francona said. “He’s healthy. With that comes confidence, conviction, letting the ball go. It’ll come. It may come in one pitch. It might come in one outing. But it’ll come. That’s the idea. We’ve all seen what he can do. So we need to be invested in getting him there. And we will.”
Miller had made only 20 appearances through Tuesday, spending two stints on the DL — the first time for two weeks with a left hamstring strain.
Left-handed pitchers have been tough on Edwin Encarnacion. He entered Wednesday batting .200 with just four of his 25 home runs and 13 of his 80 RBIs coming against lefties.
“At times, when they go soft on him a little bit, and they go up out of the zone, he gets a little where he wants to lift the ball,” Francona said. “Also, at times he’s been letting go of the bat. I think his hand’s bothering him at times. He’s still dangerous. They have to respect that.”
Encarnacion, who was batting .233 through Tuesday, was hit on the right hand by a pitch July 15 (the final game before the All-Star break), but did not miss any time.
In and out
- Right-hander Zach McAllister, who was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Miller, was given his outright release from the Indians.
Acquired in 2010, McAllister posted a 4.97 ERA in 41 games this year, appearing in 277 games and going 29-35 with a 3.99 ERA during his tenure in Cleveland.
- Right-hander Evan Marshall was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Marshall has appeared in 10 games for the Indians, allowing six earned runs on 12 hits over seven innings.
Francisco Lindor entered Wednesday leading the majors with 27 of his 28 homers coming out of the leadoff spot. He trailed Grady Sizemore (28 in 2006 and 33 in ’08) for the most in franchise history by a leadoff hitter. Lindor had his 45th multihit game Tuesday, matching Atlanta’s Nick Markakis for the most in the majors. It’s the third most by an Indians hitter through 112 games since World War II behind Kenny Lofton’s 50 in 1996 and Carlos Baerga’s 46 in ’95.