Indians infielder Jesus Aguilar will make his Major League debut Thursday night against the Toronto Blue Jays in Rogers Centre as the Tribe placed outfielder Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day disabled list.
Morgan said he banged his knee on the turf in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 15-4 Indians victory as he tried to catch a double to the left field corner off the bat of the Jays’ Adam Lind. Two batters later, when Brett Lawrie doubled to the gap in left center and Morgan and Michael Bourn ran it down, Morgan said he felt something in the knee. He finished the inning before coming out, but left Rogers Centre with his right leg in a brace. Manager Terry Francona said he used crutches as a precaution.
Morgan had just entered the game to replace Michael Brantley, who was lifted in the bottom of the fifth with mid-back tightness.
It marks the fifth career stint on the disabled list for Morgan, 33. Francona said when Morgan woke up Thursday morning his knee soreness had worsened, so the Indians flew him back to Cleveland early to undergo an MRI.
Aguilar will serve as the Indians designated hitter in the final game of the three-game series against the Blue Jays. He will bat sixth and wear No. 36.
Aguilar, 23, was called up from Triple-A Columbus, where he was hitting .298 with 8 doubles, seven home runs and 19 RBI in 37 games. He compiled a .395 on-base percentage and a .519 slugging percentage.
This season for the Clippers, he hit .346 with five doubles, four home runs and 9 RBI against left-handed pitchers. The Tribe is slated to face left-hander J.A. Happ (1-1, 4.63) Thursday.
A native of Maracay, Venezuela, Aguilar was added to the Indians' 40-man roster in the off-season.
Brantley is being held out of the lineup as the Indians conclude a six-game road trip. They open a six-game homestand Friday. Francona was upbeat about Brantley's status, but said he didn't want to play him a sixth consecutive game on turf.