Cleveland Indians Have Tough Call to Make When Jason Giambi Comes Off DL Monday

By Matt Loede
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Getty Images

The on-going saga for the Cleveland Indians is the fact they are going to have to make a tough decision this weekend when it comes to what player will head down when DH Jason Giambi is back off the disabled list on Monday for the start of the team’s series with the Kansas City Royals. Giambi started the season on the DL with a rib injury that he suffered during the spring.

“We were thinking about Sunday, just trying to keep our bullpen, our team in order,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “If we shoot for Monday, that will make things a little bit easier as far as moving forward with our team.”

Last season the 43-year-old played in his 19th season in the Majors, and was more of a factor off the field, being part of a strong core in the locker room that made sure the team stayed on course all season. He did have a couple memorable at-bats, one of which saved the team for a huge late-season defeat against the Chicago White Sox when he hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to save a win during the club’s late 10-game winning streak that pushed them into the postseason. His presence helped young players as well as vets who needed to be put in their place.

It’s something that earned him at least another year with the team, and something that Francona has never been afraid to talk about.

“Every manager should have the luxury of having (to manage Giambi) at least once,” Francona said. “Fortunately no other manager is gonna, I think he’s gonna stick with us. He gets it.”

Now with Giambi as good as back for the Indians, the question is what player will the team send packing on Monday?

The first and most likely place to look is the pen, as the team is carrying eight guys and it’s rather clear that it’s the first place the club will look to move someone. Two names that could be moved from the pen are Blake Wood and C.C. Lee. Wood has appeared in five games, and has struggled, allowing five runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Lee, a young prospect who has shown promise, has allowed a earned run on three hits in three innings.

The Indians are hoping that Giambi will add a spark to their offense, one that has lacked early, and one that will cost another player on the team his roster spot.

Matt Loede has covered the Cleveland Indians for 20 years for National Networks like AP Radio, Metro Networks and other local and national stations. Follow him on twitter @mattloede.

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