Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Indians starter Justin Masterson, sidelined with a strained left oblique, is slated to long toss up to 120 feet Wednesday. The plan calls for Masterson to possibly throw a bullpen session Friday, but the pitcher is hoping to possibly have that changed to Thursday.

"I've been very encouraged. We've been on a great path," Masterson said Tuesday. "They said [I'll throw off a mound] Friday, but we may try to get that moved up."

Indians manager Terry Francona said Masterson will only be permitted to throw off a mound earlier than Friday if the team's medical staff approves.

• Indians rookie infielder Jose Ramirez turned 21 on Tuesday. Ramirez, who was promoted from Double-A Akron as part of Cleveland's September callups, is the fourth-youngest player in the Majors, trailing only Texas' Jurickson Profar, Washington's Bryce Harper and Boston's Xander Bogaerts.

"Now, he can buy a beer," Francona said with a smirk. "He's a cool kid."

• The Indians set a dubious franchise record for a nine-inning game with 17 strikeouts on offense in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Royals. Entering Tuesday, Cleveland had 1,208 strikeouts this season, marking the fourth-highest single-season total in team history. The 2011 Indians set the club mark with 1,269 strikeouts.

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.