NEW YORK: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn was 0-for-10 at the plate in his rehab assignment with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks going into Saturday night’s game. But Tribe manager Terry Francona said he wasn’t worried about Bourn’s batting average at this early stage.
Bourn has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 6 with a left hamstring strain. Bourn sat out until April 15 with the same injury, although it was in a different spot.
“I want him to see pitches. If he goes 8-for-10, that’s not going to matter a week from now with us,” Francona said. “When he gets to us he might be 1-for-20, but if that last couple at-bats he feels good, good.”
Francona said Bourn will be in Columbus on Monday to continue his rehab with the Triple-A Clippers.
Break for Brantley: Center fielder Michael Brantley was the Tribe’s designated hitter for the second consecutive game, and Francona could keep him there for Sunday afternoon’s series finale to rest his legs.
“We’re definitely a better team when he’s in the outfield. If that will kind of get him over the hump, I have no problem doing it,” Francona said.
About that flip: Francona said he went back to look at Jason Kipnis’ first-inning error Friday night on a weak flip to shortstop Jose Ramirez covering second base that allowed a run to score.
“He was bent over, his momentum … I know those always look bad, like a behind-the-back pass in basketball,” Francona said. “I don’t know how else he could have gotten the ball there. He can’t eat it. It got stuck in his glove. I don’t know if he had another play.”
Comfy couch: With a three-hour and 53-minute game followed by a 1:05 p.m. start, Francona slept on his office couch Friday night.
“Those clubhouse guys said they were banging kegs out there,” Francona said. “I said, ‘I wouldn’t have known it. I was out cold.’ I woke up and didn’t know where I was.”
It was nowhere near the spartan conditions Francona endured in his first managing job with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000. In those days, Francona slept on an inflatable mattress that had to be placed where a leak in the Veterans Stadium ceiling wouldn’t drip on him.
“(The clubbie) would come in (in the morning) and it would never fail — the mattress had a hole in it, [and] I would be laying on the floor,” Francona said. “He snapped a picture once: me on the floor with a sheet wrapped around me and there were grapes and a candy bar. The glamour of a major league manager.”
Asked why the attendant never fixed the hole, Francona said, “We weren’t really that good.”
— Marla Ridenour