CHICAGO -- The Indians knew what they had in Michael Bourn. His absence from the leadoff spot over the past two weeks has only made his impact on a game and lineup more noticeable.
Cleveland is looking forward to getting Bourn back as soon as possible.
"It'll be really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He gives us more flexibility, which is always nice. He makes the batting order look that much longer, and he's a speed guy at the front. You can take [Michael] Brantley's bat and put it somewhere else. It's a better lineup."
In 10 games with Cleveland, Bourn has hit .333 (15-for-45) with two home runs, four doubles, one triple, two walks, two RBIs, seven runs scored and 27 total bases. Since he injured his right hand sliding into first base on April 14, Brantley and Drew Stubbs have filled in as leadoff hitters for the Tribe.
Entering Wednesday, Brantley (six starts) and Stubbs (one start) were hitting a combined .214 (6-for-28) with one double, two RBIs, six walks and seven total bases out of the lineup's top spot since Bourn went down with the injury.
Bourn, on the 15-day disabled list with an injured right index finger, is scheduled to fly back to Cleveland on Thursday's off-day to be re-evaluated. The center fielder is also slated to have the five stitches removed from his finger, making it possible for him to resume baseball activities upon re-joining the team in Kansas City this weekend.
Francona said the Indians have not decided if Bourn, who is eligible to be activated on Tuesday, will need a Minor League rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list.
"He's been tracking pitches in the bullpen and things like that," Francona said, "but he can get a little more physical with the finger after he gets the stitches out."