Indians rumors: Jason Giambi expected to claim bench role

USA TODAY Sports

While no roster moves have been made official, Jason Giambi has a good shot at breaking camp with the Cleveland Indians.

While no roster moves have been made official, Jason Giambi has a good shot at breaking camp with the Cleveland Indians, according to Bud Shaw of The Plain Dealer.

Giambi signed a minor league deal with the Indians in February that included an invitation to spring training. He will receive a $750k salary with incentives if he makes the roster, something that is looking more and more likely as camp advances.

Giambi has one big fan in an important role; manager Terry Francona. The skipper believes the veteran "has a presence about him." He appreciates Giambi's patience at the plate, noting that he "doesn't swing at bad pitches."

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Francona told reporters that Giambi will play a reduced role if he makes the team, saying he won't face left-handers. However, the veteran is poised to be a pivotal member of the team's bench as a left-handed hitter.

Cleveland signed Mark Reynolds this offseason. After several other acquisitions, the slugger is projected to be the team's regular designated hitter. However, he bats from the right side of the plate, and Giambi is expected to spell him against right-handers.

If Giambi does claim one of the Indians' bench positions, Francona admitted that his other reserves will have to be even more versatile. The 42-year-old figures to be limited to DH and first base.

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