With Zach McAllister set to come off the disabled list, T.J. House's start in Monday's series finale against Texas might be his final chance to make an impression on the Indians' coaching staff before potentially returning to Triple-A Columbus.
According to Cleveland manager Terry Francona, House has already made a strong case for himself through his first three starts.
"Regardless of what happens, T.J. has pitched himself into what we're doing," Francona said. "I think T.J. is a pretty mature kid and he listens when you talk. If he stays here, we view him as helping us. If he has to go back to Triple-A, I think he's smart enough to know that he still has some development. But he also knows what it takes to help here, which I think can be huge."
House has a 3.79 ERA and 0-1 record, but his only real hiccup came in his first start against Baltimore on May 23, when he gave up five runs over six innings. House has held opponents to three runs over 12 innings in his last two starts.
And House's contributions to the pitching staff have been important to the Indians, who are in second place in the American League Central.
"It's been a real pleasant, I don't ever want to say surprise, because I don't think that's respectful to the player," Francona said. "But I think it's been really pleasant. Any time you start dipping into your Triple-A staff and you get guys to come up and help you win, that's great."
Nick Martinez will take the mound for the Rangers. He's 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA and threw 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday, allowing six runs and nine hits with one strikeout in a 6-5 loss to the Orioles. He said having more success in his start on Monday will depend on making very basic adjustments.
"There are a lot of things to learn from my last outing, and a lot of things to work on also," Martinez said. "I've been working on them and am definitely taking the right steps towards fixing them. Not a lot of things, just little tweaks, and I think working on them these past five days -- I think I'm ready."
Martinez has also enjoyed the benefit of being able to really study the Cleveland hitters. Cleveland took two of the first three games of the four-game series.
"I've definitely been taking notes on a lot of our guys, our starters and relievers. It's nice to be the last guy," Martinez said. "But sometimes they kind of also get into a groove, it almost balances out."
Indians: Cabrera turning corner?
Asdrubal Cabrera had a .205/.290/.299 slash line on May 6, an early showing that marked yet another slow start for the shortstop. Cabrera then went on a 9-for-13 tear in the batter's box, boosting his confidence and helping him embark on a solid streak. Since May 6, Cabrera has a .296/.358/.500 slash line in 120 plate appearances.
"I'm so happy for him," Francona said, "because he started out slow last year and he just couldn't quite get out of it. He'd show spurts, but he always played and he always wanted to win. And then he started out slow again this year, but then he got real hot to kind of get his head above water. Now, he's starting to impact the game a little bit, which is great."
Rangers: Texas loses Moreland for three months
In a year that's been full of injuries, Texas lost another key player on Sunday when it was announced that first baseman Mitch Moreland would undergo reconstructive surgery on his left ankle this week and miss three months as a result.
"There's no lower half … it's to the point where it's affecting me trying to go out and play," Moreland said. "I tried to fight it off until the end of the year. I knew I was going to have to have surgery. They told me you can do everything you can to try to get to the end of the year. I can't do it anymore."
No roster move was made Sunday regarding Moreland, but the Rangers currently have 12 players on the disabled list.
General manager Jon Daniels said that he can't explain all of the injuries.
"It's hard to put your finger on it. It's been a little bit of everything," Daniels said. "We've had ankles, we've had backs, we've had elbows, we've had legs, shin bones. I have not really been able to connect the dots."
• Indians first and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall remains just short of the minimum requirements for the batting race, but his .365 average ranked first among all Major League hitters with at least 150 plate appearances.
• By not recording a hit on Sunday, Elvis Andrus broke a 39-game hitting streak against Cleveland dating back to 2009, which included every previous game he had played against the Indians. It was the second-longest hitting streak for one hitter against one team since 1900.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.