AL Central notes

CENTRAL

Indians

RHP Zach McAllister, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain, threw a bullpen session of more than 50 pitches last week. He was pleased that he was able to keep his fastball down, a problem in his last three starts, according to the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. … Manager Terry Francona declined comment on the Cubs hiring Manny Ramirez as a minor league player-coach. “I’ve got my hands full being the manager of this team,” said Francona, who was in Boston with Ramirez and Cubs executive Theo Epstein. “I did exchange a couple of texts with Theo yesterday in fun.”

Royals

LHP Bruce Chen (bulging disc), who is on the DL, threw a 25-pitch simulated game last week. Chen soon could be going on a minor league rehab assignment. … An MRI on RHP Yordano Ventura revealed his sore right elbow showed no ligament damage. Ventura, whose 100 mph fastballs have made him a rising star, was diagnosed with a mild valgus extension overload, a condition in which the repetitive stress on the elbow can cause pain in the joint.

Tigers

LHP Drew Smyly was the first Tigers pitcher to allow four homers in a game since Max Scherzer did it in a 10-7 win over the Yankees on April 3, 2011. Smyly allowed a career-worst four home runs to the Athletics last week. “It was like, is this really happening?” Smyly said. “I felt good and I felt like I was making good pitches. Then I’d just leave one up, home run. Leave the next one up, home run. Bury the next one, home run.” … The family of former Tigers OF Bill Bruton received the Detroit Tigers’ African-American Legacy Award on his behalf. He was honored posthumously.

Twins

LF Aaron Hicks told manager Ron Gardenhire he had no confidence swinging from the left side. “He came to me … and said he wants to hit right-handed. So, obviously, when a guy has no confidence left-handed, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Gardenhire said. … The Twins have been struggling lately. Gardenhire: “Baseball does that. You go in cycles, hit some bloops, get some to fall in. Starting hitting them hard at people and you go into a little bit of a funk.”

White Sox

1B Jose Abreu (left ankle) took 25 grounders and played soft toss last week. He also hit 30 balls off a tee. The slugger is expected to be activated from the 15-day DL when he is eligible on Monday. … The team traded minor league C Hector Gimenez to Toronto for cash. … RHP Frank Francisco, who was designated for assignment when the White Sox activated Chris Sale , declined his minor league assignment and became a free agent.

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.