The Cleveland Indians are wasting no time getting Jim Thome back on the field as a member of the Tribe. The team announced that Thome will arrive in Cleveland in time to play for the Indians tonight when they face the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Thome will bat fourth in Manny Acta's lineup, hoping to provide the Indians some much-need pop in the middle of their lineup.
"He's excited," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He's fired up to come back and join the team. He's not only an exceptional player but a person as well."
Thome will have to reverse a trend against the Royals, however. He's just 3 for 15 with a homer and five strikeouts versus Kansas City in 2011.
"We'd like to have him out there to impact the team as often as we can," Antonetti said. "We are trying to win as many games as possible and we'll see where that takes us."
Can Thome provide the Indians the type of emotional boost he provided back in 1997? An underperforming Indians team honored Thome on his birthday by wearing their sock pulled up - a Thome trademark. The result was a win that night, and the Indians went on an improbable run that left them two outs away from a World Series Championship.
Another Indians acquisition, Ubaldo Jimenez, will start for the Indians hoping to erase memories of his last outing - 8 ER, 3.1 innings.