Duncan making a case to stay

Duncan making a case to stay

ARLINGTON -- Shelley Duncan is doing all he can to present the Indians with a tough decision.

On Tuesday, when third baseman Jack Hannahan is activated from Major League Baseball's paternity leave list, Cleveland will need to remove a player from its roster. Duncan -- called up from Triple-A on Friday after Hannahan left the team -- might be the odd-man out.

Then again, Duncan might be making a case to stick around.

"There's a chance of everything," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "But Hannahan is coming back on Tuesday."

In the first two games of the current three-game set in Texas, Duncan went 3-for-6 at the plate with one home run, one double, two RBIs and a pair of walks. Cleveland, which has been starved for offense much of this season, scored seven runs in each of those games against the Rangers.

Duncan, who has a Minor League option, has hit .255 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 38 games for the Tribe. Among Cleveland's outfielders, rookie Ezequiel Carrera (.244 in 26 games) is another player with options. Duncan and Carrera can be sent down without consequence.

Veteran Austin Kearns, who has hit .200 with two homers and seven RBIs in 55 games, is in the fold on a guaranteed, $1.3 million contract and does not have options. Kearns would have to be designated for assignment and exposed to waivers before potentially being sent to the Minors.

"He has given us a lift," Acta said of Duncan. "That's the reason why we made the decision to bring him up, to have his bat against those two lefties [Texas southpaws Derek Holland and C.J. Wilson], because he does a good job against left-handed pitching. He's done a good job."