Michael Saunders returns to the lineup tonight for the first time since August 5 when he left the game after crashing into a wall while trying to make a leaping catch.
"Only time will tell," he said. "We'll have to find out. You get into a routine of playing every day and you get pulled off of it, there are certain effects."
Saunders was far from inactive when he was out with the "bruised rotator cuff" in his right shoulder.
He did what he could in the weight room, ran plenty of sprints and tried to do the baseball activities he could.
"So when you are finally ready to go, you don't miss a step," he said. "That's the goal."
Perhaps the worst part of the whole injury was the initial fear that Saunders felt when he hit the wall and possibly re-injured the labrum that he had surgically repaired in September of 2008.
"That's the first thing I thought about," Saunders said. "Luckily it was just my rotator cuff."
Saunders wants no part of labrum surgery again.
"I got it in September of 08 and was out till April of 2009 and came back the first of May," he said. "It wasn't fun."
Brown hasn't seen Saunders play in person since the first week of May. At that time, Saunders was just crawling his way out of a season-starting slump. He was hitting just .200 (16-for-80) with a .506 OPS when he was called up.
"He didn't get off to a very good start with us in Tacoma, but he's turned it around a little bit up here," Brown said. "I think some of it is that he had two or three good games and that breeds confidence and he's taken off from there."
Saunders is hitting .234 with eight homers and 26 RBI with a .724 OPS
While Saunders returns, don't look for Milton Bradley to return any time in the coming days. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on August 10. But he's not participating in any baseball activities right now.
"He's still not feeling real good," Brown said. "But we'll take it day to day and see where we are at."
I think some of the confidence comes form having success," Brown said. "He didn't You have two or three games
I'm good to go now.
- Ichiro Suzuki RF
- Chone Figgins 2B
- Russell Branyan DH
- Jose Lopez 3B
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Casey Kotchman 1B
- Adam Moore C
- Michael Saunders LF
- Jack Wilson SS
RHP David Pauley (0-4, 3.38 ERA)
Cleveland Indians (48-67)
- Michael Brantley CF
- Asdrubal Cabrera SS
- Chin-Soo CHoo RF
- Jordan Brown DH
- Trevor Crowe LF
- Andy Marte 1B
- Luis Valbuena 3B
- Jason Donald 2B
- Chris Gimenez C
RHP Fausto Carmona (11-9, 3.90 ERA)