KANSAS CITY -- It could take a few days for the Indians to find out if they will be required to head back to Detroit. For now, Cleveland at least knows when it would play at Comerica Park for a postseason-shaping showdown with the Tigers.
On Friday, Detroit announced that Monday's makeup game with the Tribe will have a 1 p.m. ET start time, if the contest is deemed necessary. The game, which was postponed due to steady rain on Thursday, will only take place if it has any impact on the American League Wild Card race or seeding for any of the upcoming playoff series.
Indians manager Terry Francona said going back to Detroit would not disrupt the team all that much.
"I'm not that shook up about it," Francona said. "I think if we're supposed to go, we will. If we're not supposed to, we won't. I can think of worse things to do than play a baseball game. And, if it's for a reason, whether we play it for the Tigers or for us, we're still getting to play Thursday."
As a result of a clarification that became effective for this season, Major League Baseball requires all 162 games to be played if a game impacts seeding or home-field advantage for the postseason. If a game would have no impact on seeding or home-field advantage, then it would not have to be played. If the game is necessary in any way, it will be played on Monday.
For the game to matter for the Indians, they would need to be a half-game ahead of Texas or Boston through Sunday, because both the Rangers and Red Sox own a tiebreaker over Cleveland. A win would then secure home field for the Tribe for at least the AL Division Series. If the Indians were a half-game behind either team, playing Monday's game would not impact the postseason seeding.
Heading into Friday's action, Cleveland (91-67) was a half-game back of Boston (92-67) and 2 1/2 games behind Texas (94-65). As things currently stand, the Red Sox would open at home against the Indians in the ALDS and the Rangers would await the winner of the AL Wild Card Game.
The Tigers (85-73) enter this weekend 1 1/2 games back of an AL Wild Card spot. The Orioles and Blue Jays (87-72 apiece) are tied for the top AL Wild Card spot.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.