Francona, banged-up Indians eager to put Bruce in the lineup

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, New York Mets' Jay Bruce watches his solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chris Rusin during a baseball game in Denver. A person familiar with the deal says the Cleveland Indians have agreed to acquire outfielder Bruce from the Mets. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday, Aug. 9, because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona says newly acquired outfielder Jay Bruce will give his banged-up club a boost

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It didn't take Jay Bruce long to feel like a part of the Cleveland Indians.

The three-time NL All-Star shared the spring training complex in Goodyear, Arizona, with the Indians for several years when he was with the Reds.

"If I didn't know every one of them, it felt a lot like I did," said Bruce, who was acquired Wednesday night in trade with the New York Mets. "I'm excited about the opportunity. I just want to come in and be a part of this."

The 30-year-old Bruce arrived at Tropicana Field about an hour before Thursday night's game against the Rays. He popped up as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, seeing only one pitch in his first game with an AL team.

"You can't ask for anything else, honestly, to come to a team of this caliber in the position they're in," Bruce said. "This team is awesome. They were awesome without me, and I hope to just add a little bit to it, not try to be Superman, not try to do anything other than what I can do and be myself.

"I think that's what they want and I look forward to helping us get deep, deep into the playoffs."

Even before Bruce played his first game for AL Central-leading Cleveland, manager Terry Francona said the slugger boosted his banged-up team.

"It gives you a little bounce in your step," Francona said before the game. "He is a really good run producer, and to add him to your lineup is really going to help."

Bruce hit 29 homers, tied for fourth-most in the NL, and drove in 75 runs for the Mets, playing the outfield and occasionally at first base. Francona said he wants to talk with the left-handed power hitter before making any long-term decisions, but he said Bruce will probably bat fifth on Friday night.

Outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley are on the disabled list, although Francona hopes to get Chisenhall back by next week.

"If it comes to the point where we have too many outfielders, good for us, because right now, we're playing two short," Francona said. "We've got a stretch of 22 games in a row, so to have that bat should help us."

Edwin Encarnacion is the Indians' home run leader with 22. The Indians have 131 homers and rank 10th in the league, the same position they finished last year before winning the pennant. The 2016 Indians were second in the league in runs, however, compared to seventh this year.

Francona said he hopes owner Paul Dolan gets credit for acquiring Bruce, whose contract expires at the end of this season.

"(Dolan) kind of took a big bite right there, and don't think we don't appreciate it because it's going to give us a better chance to win," Francona said.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Related News

Fox News finds itself in an unaccustomed spot _ out of first

May 23, 2017

Fox News Channel isn't used to losing to its cable news rivals, but was beaten last week by MSNBC

Muhammad Ali's son says he was detained again at airport

Mar 11, 2017

Muhammad Ali Jr. says he was detained and questioned at a Washington airport for the second time in a month before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale

US Soccer: Trump encouraging a World Cup with Mexico, Canada

Apr 11, 2017

The United States launched its bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada on Monday after gaining the support of President Donald Trump to pursue soccer's showpiece amid heightened regional political tensions

You may also like these

Fox News finds itself in an unaccustomed spot _ out of first

May 23, 2017

Fox News Channel isn't used to losing to its cable news rivals, but was beaten last week by MSNBC

Muhammad Ali's son says he was detained again at airport

Mar 11, 2017

Muhammad Ali Jr. says he was detained and questioned at a Washington airport for the second time in a month before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale

US Soccer: Trump encouraging a World Cup with Mexico, Canada

Apr 11, 2017

The United States launched its bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada on Monday after gaining the support of President Donald Trump to pursue soccer's showpiece amid heightened regional political tensions

Sportify News offers you high quality sports journalism. Take a deep look in the world of sports as we bring you the latest news on acquisitions, sponsorships, lineups and more!

Contact us: sales@sportifynews.com

Sports Baseball Archery Baseball Basketball Boxing Football Soccer Tennis Press Broaden