GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ryan Raburn and Mike Aviles have neighboring lockers during Spring Training and similar utility roles on the Indians' bench during the season. It is a situation that has led to plenty of good-natured ribbing over the past year for the teammates.
That continued Tuesday, when Raburn rejoined the Indians in Arizona after spending the past five days in Florida with his family after the birth of his second daughter. Raburn arrived to the hospital just 20 minutes before Raelyn Grace arrived at 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
"I was able to get there in the nick of time," said Raburn, who then smirked. "The only problem was I was trying to hold her off until at least midnight. Now she's got Aviles' birthday. Me and him are forever linked together."
Raburn said it was great to have a few days with his wife and daughters, but he was happy to be back in camp with Cleveland. The versatile utility man has not played since crashing into the right-field wall at Cubs Park on March 7 and is still dealing with soreness in his left knee.
The current plan is to work Raburn into Wednesday's game as a designated hitter and then he will likely garner some at-bats in a Minor League game during Thursday's off-day for the Indians.
"I was ready to get back and get back after it," Raburn said. "I'm still sore. I wouldn't say it's 100 percent, but I can still run out there and everything. It just still hurts. I'll keep getting treatment every day and hopefully by the time Opening Day comes around, it's out of there.
"Right now, we're just trying to get through it and get as many at-bats as I can in the process."
Last season, which was Raburn's first with the Tribe, he hit .272 with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs in 86 games (243 at-bats). Barring any setbacks, the 32-year-old Raburn projects to begin the year on the bench, serving as an backup option for first, second and third base, as well as the corner outfield spots.