Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Indians utility man Ryan Raburn, who has been in the starting lineup in just three of the team's past 15 games, was scheduled to have his ailing right calf re-evaluated by a team doctor prior to Friday's game, according to Francona. Cleveland wants Raburn to be cleared before being thrown back into game action.

"We'll get him looked at one more time before we put him in a game," Francona said. "It's just to make sure. I don't want to sit him for five or six days, put him in for a pinch-hit and then set him back a week. So we'll get him evaluated one more time by a doctor today and then we'll see how it goes."

• When Francona was piecing together his coaching staff for this season, the manager had his good friend Brad Mills in mind for third base. Mills had worked as big league manager and bench coach in recent years, so Francona gave him time to think over the offer. Mills accepted the job and has helped Cleveland's solid baserunning (first in the league in going first-to-third) this season.

"To get him on this staff, that's where we had a fit," Francona said. "He said he would, and I think after he thought about it for a couple days, I think he actually got excited about it. Once Millsy gets excited, he's all in. This is probably the first time somebody's brought his name up all year. That tells you what kind of third-base coach he's been."

• Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin (right elbow) allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings in a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. Francona called the outing "encouraging" and noted that Tomlin will likely make two more rehab starts before the Minor League season ends. In eight rehab games, the righty has a 2.08 ERA with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 17 1/3 innings.

• With 69 wins, the Indians have already surpassed last season's win total. It should come as no surprise than that the Tribe is also showing improvement in TV and radio ratings. SportsTime Ohio is up nearly 30 percent from last year at this point and WTAM 1100-AM and WMMS 100.7-FM are up a combined 40 percent over this time last season.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.