Canzler making case for roster spot in 2013

Canzler making case for roster spot in 2013

Canzler making case for roster spot in 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians manager Manny Acta said it's too early to speculate on Russ Canzler's possible role with the Indians next season. But so far in September, the 26-year-old is doing his best to make sure he has a spot.

Canzler's fifth game with the Indians on Friday's since being recalled on Sept. 1 proved to be his best yet. Canzler went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and hit his first career home run, a pivotal blast in Cleveland's 7-6 win over Minnesota.

His teammates took notice.

"He had a great game," Michael Brantley said. "It's phenomenal to see him come up here. He looks very comfortable at the plate. He's put up good, quality Major League at-bats every time, and that's all you can ask from him."

Those Major League at-bats have led to good Major League numbers in five games for the Indians entering Saturday. Canzler is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with a double and home run, though all three of his RBIs came in Friday's game.

He didn't exactly come out of nowhere, either, putting together a strong 2012 campaign for Triple-A Columbus. Canzler hit .265 with a team-leading 22 home runs and 79 RBIs in 130 games before getting the call.

And while Acta wasn't ready to carve out a spot for Canzler in the Indians 2013 Opening Day lineup just yet, he didn't hesitate to praise him.

"He gives quality at-bats," Acta said. "He's quiet at the plate. He uses the whole field. He will just give you comfort when he's at the plate because he's not jumping around and off-balance or anything like that. That's what he's done so far."