CHICAGO -- The Indians acquired Russ Canzler last offseason with the thought that he could develop into a useful right-handed bat. The club has used this month to take a close look at how he might fit into the team's future plans.
In Monday's 5-4 loss to the White Sox, Canzler went 1-for-4 with his lone hit being an opposite-field home run against tough lefty Chris Sale. In his first at-bat on Tuesday, he crushed a solo homer, his third, to left off lefty Francisco Liriano in the second inning. Canzler finished a triple shy of the cycle during his 3-for-4 effort in the 4-3 win.
All things considered, though, Canzler remains a work in progress.
"He's done a decent job for us," Indians manager Manny Acta said on Tuesday. "He's quiet at the plate. Yesterday, he used the whole field better -- obviously, hitting that ball out to the opposite field.
"You have to understand that some of these guys are trying to impress everybody here and prove that they belong here. He's done OK."
Through his first 19 games with Cleveland, Canzler hit .269 (18-for-67) with two homers, two doubles and nine RBIs. Canzler ranks second on the team in homers and RBIs in September, but his on-base percentage (.290) and slugging percentage (.388) have left something to be desired.
Heading into the offseason, the Indians will look to address holes at first base, designated hitter and left field. Canzler has the ability to fill each of those roles, but Acta noted on Tuesday that the reports indicate that the rookie's best position is first base.