ARLINGTON -- The Indians were not able to reel in an extra bat before Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline expired, but the ballclub is banking on having one of its own hitters back in the fold in the near future.
On Friday at Rangers Ballpark, sidelined right fielder Shin-Soo Choo took batting practice on the field with the team for the first time since breaking his left thumb. A Minor League rehab assignment could be right around the corner.
"It is realistic," Indians manager Manny Acta said before Friday's game against the Rangers. "I think a lot's going to depend on how he swings the bat today and how he feels tomorrow. But it is realistic that he could start a rehab assignment pretty soon."
Acta did not rule out sending Choo out on rehab after the conclusion of the Tribe's current road trip, which ends with Sunday's nightcap in Texas. Choo has been out of the lineup since having his left thumb broken by a pitch on June 24 in San Francisco.
On the season, Choo has hit .244 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 72 games. Prior to landing on the 15-day disabled list with the hand injury, though, the Tribe's star right fielder was hitting .316 over his past 12 games.
Choo has stated that his goal is to be back in the Indians' lineup in time for the Aug. 16-18 road series against the White Sox. Acta has yet to shed light on when the ballclub expects the right fielder to make his return.
Another of Cleveland's ailing outfielders, Michael Brantley, also took part in pregame batting practice on Friday afternoon. Brantley was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game due to a sore right wrist, but Acta noted that the left fielder/center fielder might be an option off the bench.
Acta did not have an update on injured center fielder Grady Sizemore, who is on the 15-day disabled list recovering from a right knee injury and surgery to repair a sports hernia. Sizemore, who underwent the hernia operation on July 21, has yet to resume baseball activities.
"He's resting," Acta said. "He's rehabbing. I'll give you more in two weeks."