Francona indicated that the 43-year-old Giambi could be activated on Tuesday because the Tigers have lefty Drew Smyly scheduled to pitch against the Indians on Monday. Giambi was placed on the 15-day DL with a right calf injury on May 5 (his second stint on the DL this season), but Francona said the veteran will not need a Minor League rehab assignment.
Giambi has no hits in 10 at-bats in four games for Cleveland this season.
"'G' has been really good about it," Francona said. "He goes, 'Hey man, activate me when it helps.'"
Giambi, who has provided a voice of leadership for the Indians over the past two seasons, believes the Indians still have the right pieces to pull out of the early slump. The veteran said the showing by the defense has been "shocking," and cited a lack of consistency across the board for the fact that the Tribe entered Saturday 8 1/2 games behind the American League Central-leading Tigers.
"We're scuffling. We just cant get that consistent play," Giambi said. "We get that little glimmer of, like, 'Oh, there we are,' and then it just kind of falls apart. That's tough. ... It'll be there. It's going to be there. It's just a question of, how long is it going to take? Hopefully time doesn't run out, because it's going to be there.
"I'm not panicked or anything. We're keeping our head above water. We just need to get that one good run."
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.