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Giambi likely to see Minors action before return

Giambi likely to see Minors action before return

CLEVELAND -- Considering that Jason Giambi has gone a month without appearing in a game, the Indians are leaning toward having the veteran complete a brief Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the active roster.

On Saturday, Indians manager Terry Francona said he has discussed the situation with Giambi, who is on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured rib in his right side. The current plan is to have the designated hitter play at least two games prior to being activated.

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The Indians are still sorting through the details of when and where Giambi will play.

"I talked to G a little bit," Francona said. "What will happen is, before he's coming back off the DL, we'll get him out to DH, [then have a day] off, and probably DH [again]. Just a couple games to make sure he sees some pitches and gets his legs going.

"That'll be close-by, whoever is home -- [Triple-A] Columbus, [Double-A] Akron. I think that'll be good enough."

Giambi was struck in the right side by a pitch from Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson during a Cactus League game on March 7. The 43-year-old part-time DH and pinch-hitter has resumed hitting activities, but inclement weather has hindered his ability to take part in normal batting practice over the past week.

"He just hasn't been able to get on the field," Francona said. "It's not his fault. He's been kind of stuck in the cage. We'll give him a couple games. He's not going to play every day. I just think that, talking to G, I don't think he needs a lot of games. I think a couple would be very beneficial."

Last season, Giambi hit .183 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 71 games as a part-time player for the Indians. Beyond those numbers, he posted a 1.181 OPS in the ninth inning and hit .271 with a .960 OPS with runners in scoring position. Giambi was also an influential part of Cleveland's clubhouse.

Francona said even a brief stop in the Minors by Giambi can benefit the players he encounters.

"It's great seeing him in our clubhouse," Francona said. "He's one of the more special guys in the game, for sure. That would be a treat for kids in the Minor Leagues. Most of those guys were around him all spring, if he goes to Triple-A. But I'm sure they'd enjoy that.

"As a Minor League manager, there's nothing better than getting a guy that does it right down there when they're rehabbing. It sends a great message."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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