Kubel joins Indians in Detroit, but not in starting lineup

Kubel joins Indians in Detroit, but not in starting lineup

Kubel joins Indians in Detroit, but not in starting lineup

DETROIT -- Jason Kubel was hanging out with his teammates in the Indians' clubhouse Saturday and hopes he can introduce himself to Cleveland fans with his play over the next month.

Kubel was held out of the starting lineup in his first game since the Indians acquired him from the D-backs, though he's available to pinch-hit.

"We'll let him kind of run around today, take [batting practice], work in the outfield and kind of get his feet under him a little bit," manager Terry Francona said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we play him [Sunday] somewhere, whether it's DH or in the outfield. I'm going to get a look at how he's moving around. I mean, it's been a few days."

Kubel said he doesn't have a preference of playing right or left field and also doesn't mind being a designated hitter.

"I mean, we're right in the middle of a playoff chase, we're not too far back," Kubel said. "I'm here to obviously help out and give it 100 percent every day. There's no holding back."

The 2013 season has been a frustrating one for Kubel, who has battled a variety of leg ailments. After slugging 30 homers and compiling an .833 on-base plus slugging for the D-backs in 2012, he slumped to a slash line of .220/.288/.324 this year.

"Dealing with a lot of injuries and inconsistent playing time," Kubel said. "Just not getting comfortable really. I'm feeling great now, got a little rest, and I'm ready to go."

Kubel believes his knee problems have subsided enough for him to make an impact in the field and at the plate.

"I think it also helps when I'm playing a lot, too," Kubel said. "It doesn't stiffen up on me. It stays loose. I don't think it's going to be much of a problem. I just had it drained three weeks ago, so it's good to go for another few months."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.