BOSTON -- The Indians stuck to their plan and activated first baseman Nick Swisher from the disabled list prior to Thursday's game against the Red Sox. How Cleveland went about adding Swisher to the roster came as a slight surprise.
In order to activate Swisher, the Indians placed 43-year-old veteran Jason Giambi on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left knee. This marks the third trip to the DL this season for Giambi, who has twice been shelved when the Tribe was in a roster crunch.
"My left knee has been bothering me," Giambi said. "We tried to work it through until Swish got back to help the ballclub out. ... It worked out. It's good for the team, puts us in a good spot and let's me heal."
By placing Giambi on the DL, Cleveland can keep third-string catcher George Kottaras on the roster, allowing corner infielder Carlos Santana (recently back from a mild concussion) to avoid catching for the time being. In early May, Giambi was sidelined with a right calf strain while Cleveland was navigating through an assortment of injury and roster issues, too.
Giambi opened the season on the disabled list after fracturing a rib in his right side during Spring Training.
"You try to make sure you have Plan A probably through about Z," manager Terry Francona said, "and make sure you're prepared in case something happens. Keeping George around was good. ... If George is on our roster, it makes sense to catch him and use it to our advantage."
During Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Royals, Giambi went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .128 (6-for-47). In 15 games for Cleveland this year, Giambi has launched two home runs and collected five RBIs.
Swisher, 33, was placed on the 15-day DL on May 27 after hyperextending his knee in a game against the White Sox one day earlier. In a two-game Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first baseman went 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs. In 49 games for the Tribe this year, Swisher has hit just .211 with three homers and 19 RBIs, but he did hit .318 in the six games prior to landing on the DL.
"I was a little stir crazy, getting a little cabin fever," Swisher said. "Right now, I'm just so proud of the way the guys played while I was down. These guys really stepped up their game and played extremely well. Coming back in here, man, I just want to get myself back to the player that I am and we'll just go from there."