Bourn taking more time on rehab assignment
CHICAGO --- Indians outfielder Michael Bourn went 1-for-5 with a walk and stolen base in his second rehab start with Double-A Akron Friday night. He was replaced defensively in the 10th inning of the 13-inning game, but it was the second straight game in which Bourn played nine innings.
Bourn had originally hoped to rejoin the Tribe on Sunday, the first day he's eligible to come off the DL, but Indians manager Terry Francona said Bourn will rest Saturday and play another rehab game on Sunday.
"He had a pretty good night physically," Francona said. "Still thinks another game is in his best interests, and I appreciate his honesty. I've been on him from the beginning that when we get him back, we want to get him back where he can change the game with his legs and not be thinking about it. He'll play Sunday, and then we'll go from there."
It was encouraging to see Bourn do what he does best and steal a base Friday night. It was an important step for him to test his hamstring in a full-out sprinting situation that required response from fast-twitch muscles in his rehabbing hamstring.
"I think he's feeling pretty good," Francona said. "The last thing is being able to get to that last gear and not have to think about it. That will be when he's ready to go."
Jason Giambi, who is rehabbing from a broken rib suffered early in Spring Training, joined Bourn in the lineup on Friday as the designated hitter. Giambi went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Giambi will mostly be counted on as a power left-handed bat off the bench in key late-game situations. Francona said the club isn't worried about simulating that scenario during Giambi's rehab.
"No, he'll get regular at-bats," Francona said. "It's hard to send a guy, especially a 43-year-old veteran, down to the Minor Leagues to pinch-hit. Getting his at-bats will be more beneficial"