CHICAGO -- The Indians' outfield shuffle continued Thursday, as Cleveland activated Brandon Guyer off the disabled list before its finale with the White Sox.Guyer, who sustained a neck strain May 19, was in the starting lineup hitting fifth and in right field. Guyer was originally slated to return Monday, but
CHICAGO -- The Indians' outfield shuffle continued Thursday, as Cleveland activated Brandon Guyer off the disabled list before its finale with the White Sox.
Guyer, who sustained a neck strain May 19, was in the starting lineup hitting fifth and in right field. Guyer was originally slated to return Monday, but he was delayed after being hit in the hand Sunday in a rehab game. He gives the Indians another bat to face left-handed starters like Carlos Rodon, who started for Chicago on Thursday.
"When we got him in '16, I think he had like a maybe 1.000 OPS against left-handers," manager Terry Francona said. "Kinda went under the radar, but that's what he brings.
"What's been a little hard is, because a lot of teams aren't gonna let him hit lefties when we pinch-hit, and he has a tough time against righties, but he is a better hitter than what he's shown and we know that. Hopefully, even though he didn't get a bunch of hits on his rehab, hopefully to play as much as he did will help him."
Entering Thursday, Guyer was 11-for-48 against southpaws with three home runs, but only 1-for-32 when facing righties.
As a corresponding move, the Indians designated outfielder Melky Cabrera for assignment. Cabrera, who signed a Minor League deal in April and was called up May 20, had been hitting .207/.242/.293 in 58 at-bats with five doubles.
Francona said the roster crunch was hard, but the Indians "just didn't see a way we were gonna be able to keep [Cabrera] here."
"We talked about it and we talked about it, we couldn't figure out a way to get around it," Francona said. "I loved having him here, so those things happen when you have guys, as many guys go down as we did, you get reinforcements and then when they come back something has to give."
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
Further complicating matters is the imminent return of Tyler Naquin from a left hamstring strain. The Indians are currently carrying five outfielders, and they'll have to make another roster decision soon, likely involving Rajai Davis or Greg Allen.
Naquin was hitting .333/.367/.453 with two home runs over 75 at-bats when he got hurt.
"He could be [activated] as soon as we want," Francona said of Naquin. "By all accounts, like physically, he could come tomorrow if he had to."
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.