KANSAS CITY -- Frank Herrmann will always remember Joe Walsh as a friend and a person who played a key role in his path to the big leagues. That is why the pitcher was incredibly saddened when he learned Tuesday that the Harvard baseball coach had passed away.
"He was awesome," said Herrmann, who pitched for the Indians the past two seasons and is now with Triple-A Columbus. "He always told me, every time I talked to him, how proud he was of me, that he could say he coached a guy in the Major Leagues. He was great. I was upset this morning and shocked."
Walsh, 58, died suddenly in his home on Tuesday morning. He spent 17 years as Harvard's baseball coach, leading the team to five Ivy League titles in his tenure. Herrmann, who became the 16th player from Harvard to reach the big leagues when he broke in with Cleveland in 2010, said Walsh was the reason he chose to attend the university.
"He took a chance on me," Herrmann said. "I'm a guy who didn't get any Division I scholarship offers. He committed to me early. It's the only school I applied to and a lot of that was him. Obviously, it was Harvard, but meeting him and getting to know him -- my dad and I went up for a visit -- I instantly loved Coach Walsh."
Herrmann said Walsh convinced the pitcher to hold tight to his dream of reaching the Majors.
"I remember my freshman year, I thought about hanging it up," Herrmann recalled. "I was thinking about hanging it up, and just going down the economics course and working on Wall Street. He told me he saw something in me and to keep plugging away. And then I remember my sophomore year, I was throwing a bullpen and he told me I just went from suspect to prospect."
"He was such a good guy and he meant a lot to me," he later added. "He was a one-of-a-kind guy. I think anyone that knows him would say that."
Choo remains in Cleveland, looks to the future
KANSAS CITY -- Shin-Soo Choo tried not to focus too much on the rumors that swirled in recent days, but it was hard for the Indians right fielder not to consider the possibility that he might be dealt before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Choo did not go anywhere.
"I wasn't really worried about it, but I was still thinking about it," Choo said on Tuesday afternoon. "Am I going? Will I stay here? But it didn't bother me. I don't have any control. My job is just to play every day and play hard and try to help the team win games."
Throughout Saturday and Sunday, multiple reports named the Pirates, Rangers, Dodgers and Reds as potential suitors for Choo, who is expected to test free agency after next season. Choo remains a key part of Cleveland's lineup, though, and has been one of the team's top performers this season.
Entering Tuesday's game against the Royals, the 30-year-old Choo was hitting .291 with 12 home runs, 32 doubles and 39 RBIs in 96 games. The right fielder has served mainly as a leadoff man for Cleveland, which headed into Tuesday's action five games off the White Sox's pace in the American League Central.
Choo said he still thinks the Indians -- swept over the weekend in Minnesota following an emotional series win at home against Detroit -- can make a push for the postseason.
"I still have very good confidence in this team," Choo said. "We had a winning series against Detroit and everybody had a lot of energy. It was exciting. We were closer to having a chance at the playoffs and then we lost three games against Minnesota. But that's part of the game, part of a season."
That said, Choo added that he would like to see the front office make a trade for some help.
"I hope so. Why not?" Choo said. "We knew in Spring Training our lineup was all left-handed hitters. We needed a right-handed power hitter and they were looking for it. And then starting pitchers. Next season, or maybe later [this season], you never know.
"I hope we bring somebody here to make it a better team. Why not?"
Hernandez struggles in Minor League start
KANSAS CITY -- The Indians are not evaluating Roberto Hernandez's progress purely based on results. That is a good thing, because the second Minor League appearance on the pitcher's comeback trail was far from sharp.
Pitching for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, Hernandez allowed five runs on nine hits over five innings. He ended with two strikeouts and two walks in an 83-pitch effort, during which he stayed around 89-93 mph with his fastball.
"The performance has nothing to do with it," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We're not judging him on going over there and having to throw a no-hitter or a two-hitter every time he goes out. All we want to see is the type of shape he is in, how the ball is coming out of his hand, the stuff. That's all. He's just going down there to finish the rehab and be able to come over here."
Acta indicated that Hernandez will likely make his next Minor League start for Class A (low) Lake County on Sunday. Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) is serving a three-week suspension and will be eligible to be activated from Major League Baseball's restricted list on Aug. 11.
With Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline now in the rear-view mirror, Indians manager Manny Acta said he plans on discussing the rotation situation with general manager Chris Antonetti. Changes could be coming, but Acta was not ready to speculate on what decisions the team might make this week.
"I'm sure that tonight after the game or something," Acta said on Tuesday, "we'll touch on whatever we're going to do going forward. Those [front-office] guys were extremely busy and the only time I could catch up with them was when the were giving me some information with what was going on."
There has been a scoring change within Cleveland's 5-3 victory over the Tigers on Thursday. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a soft line drive that glanced off the glove of shortstop Ramon Santiago. Kipnis was originally given a hit, but Major League Baseball has overturned the decision and has ruled it as an error on Santiago.
On Tuesday, the Indians named Triple-A Columbus outfielder Ezequiel Carrera the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for the period of July 22-28. During that span, Careera hit .515 (17-for-33) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 13 RBIs for the Clippers.
Quote to note
"You've got to make up five games that you're trailing in the standings. If you can't make up five games in 60 games, then you don't deserve to be in the playoffs."
--Indians manager Manny Acta