Indians Recall Infielder Branyan
CLEVELAND (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians, slumping since the All-Star break and looking for extra pop, promoted third baseman Russell Branyan from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday.
Branyan leads the International League with 29 home runs, including three Thursday night in a 9-8 win over Indianapolis. He recently was picked as the MVP of the IL’s All-Star game.
Branyan was expected to join the Indians in New York this weekend. He was batting .220 with 63 RBIs at Triple-A, striking out 165 times in 92 games.
The AL Central-leading Indians, who have lost six of eight since the All-Star break, recalled Branyan and optioned infielder John McDonald to Buffalo.
Branyan, 23, went 0-for-4 in one game for Cleveland last season.
The Indians enter their series with the AL East-leading Yankees having lost six of seven overall. Injuries have been a problem all year, and the loss of third baseman Travis Fryman to a torn ligament on July 3 has been among the worst.
Fryman isn’t expected back until mid-September and the Indians are reportedly shopping for a third baseman. Among the rumored names are Gary Gaetti and Carlos Baerga, a former second baseman traded by the Indians.
Enrique Wilson has filled in at third, but he hasn’t provided the same kind of offense Fryman can. Wilson has just one homer and 17 RBIs.