Buck, Huffman fighting for outfield spot

Buck, Huffman fighting for outfield spot

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians played a pair of split-squad spring games on Saturday afternoon and manager Manny Acta opted for taking in the home tilt against the White Sox. He also made sure both Travis Buck and Chad Huffman were in the lineup.

With center fielder Grady Sizemore (left knee) and outfielder Trevor Crowe (right shoulder) doubtful for Opening Day, Cleveland likely has at least one outfield job up for grabs this spring. Buck and Huffman are both squarely in the hunt for a spot on the roster.

"I've always had to fight for a spot," said Buck, who is in camp on a Minor League contract. "That's the way I like it. Sometimes, where guys have guaranteed spots, they kind of relax. I did that a little bit [in the past] and it was not a good feeling. I want to come in here and earn my way on there."

Buck can man all three outfield spots and has been getting reps at first base as well. Huffman -- claimed off waivers from the Yankees last September -- can play both corner outfield positions and also has experience at first. On Saturday, Buck got the nod in center and Huffman started in right.

At the plate, Buck went 1-for-3 and ended the day with a .500 average in the early portion of the Cactus League slate. Huffman went 3-for-3 to raise his spring average to .571 in the early going.

"He's an interesting guy," Acta said of Huffman. "He brings energy. He plays the game hard. ... He has swung the bat very well and we like this guy. That's why we picked him up on waivers last year. He's making a good impression in camp."