CLEVELAND -- Jim Thome was playing third base for the Indians the day he hit his first big-league home run.
On the same day Lonnie Chisenhall turned three years old.
Thome left the Indians to sign with the Phillies after the 2002 season.
On the same day the Indians traded for Travis Hafner.
Thome comes back to Cleveland this weekend with 598 home runs, and wouldn't it be great if he gets to 600 during this three-game series at Progressive Field?
He hit his first 334 home runs as an Indian, and his 186 home runs at Progressive Field are still far more than he has hit at any other ballpark (U.S. Cellular is second on his list, with 98).
And that's even though Thome played his first 70 home games at old Cleveland Stadium.
There's no one left on the Indians roster who was a Thome teammate in Cleveland. Chisenhall, now 22, is the Indians third baseman now.
But you know that Cleveland still means more to Thome than anywhere else he has played.
He's hit well on previous returns, going 35-for-114 (.307) in 34 games, with 10 home runs and 32 RBI. He's had three multi-homer games in Cleveland as a visitor.
He needs two in the next three games to get to 600 here, perhaps not likely but certainly not impossible.
On to 3 to Watch:
1. Thome has never homered in 16 at-bats against Justin Masterson, the Cleveland starter in Twins at Indians, Friday night (7:05 ET) at Progressive Field. The Indians rearranged their rotation after Masterson went just two innings before a long rain delay knocked him out of his Tuesday night start against the Tigers. Why? That's simple. Masterson has been their best starter this year. "Masterson has been a No. 1 for us," manager Manny Acta said.
2. You never know what C.J. Wilson might say, but did you really expect him to go into his start at Oakland by saying, "I hate pitching there" and that "The players on [the A's] team hate me"? Maybe he'll like the Coliseum more and the A's players will hate him more if he wins in Rangers at A's, Friday night (10:07 ET) at the Coliseum.
3. The Brewers went into the season knowing they had little rotation depth in the minor leagues, but they survived Zack Greinke's injury because Marco Estrada was decent in his place, pitching well enough for the Brewers to win two of his four starts. Estrada last started on May 4, and the Brewers have used just their regular five starters since then. But Chris Narveson's freak injury -- he sliced open his thumb while trying to fix his glove -- has forced Estrada back into the rotation for Pirates at Brewers, Saturday afternoon (4:10 ET) at Miller Park. This is one of the Pirates games that Fox picked up for its Saturday game of the week, before the Pirates went into their skid.