Francona: Giambi will be activated Monday
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have decided to give Jason Giambi a few more days of rest before activating the veteran slugger from the disabled list.
Indians manager Terry Francona said the ballclub will wait until Monday to add the 43-year-old Giambi to the active roster, giving the team the weekend to consider its corresponding transaction. Cleveland might option a reliever when Giambi returns, but Francona wanted to keep the bullpen intact for now.
"We were thinking about Sunday," Francona said. "And then, just trying to keep our bullpen, our team in order, I think if we shoot for Monday, that will make things a little bit easier as far as moving forward with our team."
Francona said Giambi was more than willing to go along with that plan.
"Every manager should have the luxury of having 'G' once," Francona said. "Unfortunately, no other manager is going to, because he's going to stick with us. But he gets it. I've been fortunate. I've been around a lot of good players, but man, he gets it. He just wants to help."
Giambi, who is coming back from a non-displaced fracture of a rib in his right side, finished a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Wednesday, having gone 0-for-8 with two walks in theee games. On Friday, Giambi said he felt completely healthy, but added that the extra days will give him a little more time to make sure his swing is in order.
"It gives me a few more days to take more swings and get acclimated and kind of get things right before I get in there," Giambi said. "I'm excited to get back and be part of the club and do my part, not only on the field, but off the field as well."
Francona will likely use Giambi in a similar manner as last season, when the veteran of 20 seasons filled a role as a part-time designated hitter and pinch-hitter. In 2013, Giambi hit .183 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 71 games. He posted a 1.181 OPS in the ninth inning and hit .271 with a .960 OPS with runners in scoring position.
While the Indians had only played 15 games heading into Friday, Francona said Giambi has undoubtedly been missed early on this season.
"It's a nice teammate to have around," Francona said. "He can be a settling influence. He can kick somebody in the pants. It's a great guy to have around. Believe me, I wouldn't say all these things if they weren't true."