CLEVELAND -- With both teams nervously wondering if their teams will make any moves prior to Monday's trade deadline, the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics meet Saturday night at Progressive Field for the second contest of their three-game series.
Cleveland won the first game Friday, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3. The Indians and A's have been subject to lots of trade speculation, and the A's speculation took a dramatic turn Friday, when it was announced that left-hander Rich Hill will not make his scheduled start Sunday.
Hill, who is having a good year (9-3, 2.25 ERA), hasn't started a game in nearly two weeks. Hill's last appearaance came July 17, and he was removed from that game in the first inning because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Hill had a throwing session Friday to test the finger.
"He's better, but it's not to the point where we want to run him out there and take the chance of him ripping a layer of skin off and then we lose him for an even longer period of time," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's eager to pitch, but he knows he has to be careful with it."
It seems likely Hill will be placed on the disabled list -- perhaps as early as Saturday -- in order to make room for left-hander Dillon Overton, who will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville and will start Saturday.
In three starts with the A's earlier this season Overton was 1-1 with an 8.40 ERA. In 17 appearances (16 starts) at Nashville, Overton was 10-4 with a 3.21 ERA.
The Indians on Saturday start control artist Josh Tomlin. Tomlin is 10-3 with a 3.48 ERA, and leads all American League pitchers with an average of 0.95 walks per nine innings.
In two career starts versus the A's, Tomlin is 0-2 with a 3.29 ERA. He is prone to giving up home runs. He has allowed 24 this year, easily the most of any Indians pitcher. Only three American League pitchers have allowed more.
The Indians are 6-6 since the All-Star break. They are still in first place in the AL Central, but second place Detroit has been closing the gap. The Indians' lead in the division, which was as high as 7 1/2 games on July 20, is down to 4 1/2 games.
The Indians did make a roster move Friday that affects their bullpen. Jeff Manship, who is one of the Indians' most used relievers and has a 3.38 ERA in 37 appearances, was placed on the disabled list with right wrist tendinitis.
"He's had it for a while and we felt this was a good time to shut him down for a couple weeks and let his wrist rest," manager Terry Francona said.
To replaced Manship on the roster, the Indians activated reliever Zach McAllister, who had been on the disabled list since July 7 with right hip discomfort.