Editor’s note: Friday night’s game between the Indians and Kansas City Royals was rained out.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Michael Bourn’s right index finger is stitch free after a trip to Cleveland on Thursday.
But for two reasons, he is not ready to jump back into the Indians’ lineup. For one thing, he can’t come off the disabled list until Tuesday. For another, he hasn’t swung a bat or thrown a baseball for almost two weeks, since Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Thornton stepped on his hand, as Bourn slid safely into first, beating out an infield hit.
Manager Terry Francona said that Bourn is ready to take swings in the indoor cages.
“I gripped a fungo bat today,” Bourn said. “It’s still sore a little. I think Sunday would be a good time to see how it feels.”
Apparently, the plans are to give Bourn a better test that day.
Inasmuch as Bourn hasn’t seen live pitching in nearly two weeks, it’s a stretch to think he can come off the DL as soon as he is eligible.
“I don’t know,” he said. “That seems to be a little fast, but we’ll see.”
Apparently, Bourn will not be sent on a rehabilitation assignment.
“I don’t know if he needs one,” Francona said. “If he thinks he needs to go on a rehab assignment, we’ll send him. Otherwise, we won’t.”
Never before has an injury taken Bourn out of the lineup this long, so he hasn’t experienced being unable to play.
“I was on the DL at the end of 2010 with an oblique strain, but the season was almost over,” he said. “Of course, I don’t want to not be able to play. As for watching, I have no choice. So that part doesn’t really matter.”
When Bourn went on the DL, he had a .333 batting average and .375 on-base percentage to make the leadoff spot a strength for the Tribe.
In the eight games Bourn has missed, Michael Brantley has batted at the top of the order seven times and compiled a .250 average. Drew Stubbs led off once and was 1-for-3.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.