Smoke signals

• Left-hander J.C. Romero, who opted out of his contract with the Nationals, will report to Triple-A for the Indians on Thursday. If Romero, 37, passes a physical, he will sign a Minor League contract with Cleveland. The lefty posted a 2.84 ERA in 13 games with Triple-A Syracuse before being shelved with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. He has a 4.16 ERA in 680 career big league games between stints with the Twins, Phillies, Rockies, Cardinals, Red Sox, Angels and Orioles.

• Columbus right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has been dealing with a left oblique injury, completed his third bullpen session (50 pitches) on Tuesday. Barring any setbacks, Matsuzaka will throw a simulated game on Friday with the goal of returning to game activity in seven to 10 days.

• The Indians' pitching staff established a single-month franchise record with 280 strikeouts in May. The previous mark of 264 strikeouts was first set in July 1964 and equaled in August '67. Last month, Cleveland and Detroit tied for most strikeouts in the Majors.

• On Tuesday, the Indians named Class A infielder Joseph Sever the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for the period from last Wednesday until Tuesday. In that span, Sever hit .438 (7-for-16) with one double, two RBIs and three runs scored in five games between Class A Advanced Carolina and Class A Lake County.

• According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Indians have signed 18-year-old Taiwanese shortstop prospect Yu-Cheng Chang, who is 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. Cleveland would not confirm the signing, indicating that the move is not yet official.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.