Rain is slowing down Michael Bourn's return to the Indians

Jason Miller

Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.

Michael Bourn, who suffered a strained hamstring early in spring training, has been eligible to return from the disabled list since Saturday, but his return has been delayed on account of his inability to get in enough rehab games in Columbus. The original plan was for Bourn to play 7 innings for the Clippers last Thursday, and then 9 innings on Saturday and a few innings Sunday (to make sure he was up for playing on back-to-back days), and then to reevaluate, and call him up today if he and team doctors reported no problems.

Instead, rain postponed Thursday's game, and with the field still wet on Friday, Bourn was held back, so he didn't play at all until Saturday. He sat out Sunday (as he was schedule to sit out a day after playing for the first time) and was scheduled to play again yesterday, but that game was postponed by rain as well. If there are no more weather issues, he'll play tonight, and if the team keeps the same structure they laid out last week, he'd play again tomorrow afternoon, be checked in upon on Thursday, and maybe be called up to join the Indians in Chicago in time for Friday night's game.

Bourn's playing time has primarily been filled by Nyjer Morgan, who has done well thus far (4 singles in 13 at bats, with 6 walks). Morgan's competency means the Indians need not rush Bourn back, but Bourn has the higher ceiling, and if healthy, he's a better bet to help the team. I'd like to have Bourn back for a couple games before the Tribe travels to Detroit on Monday.

When he's back, Morgan seems like the logical choice to be sent down, as despite playing well, it doesn't seem like there'd be a lot of playing time for him. Elliot Johnson seems like the other position player who could be sent down. He's been used the least, and while his versatility is nice, the Indians would have multiple guys capable of playing every position even without Johnson. Vinnie Pestano and Blake Wood could also be headed to Columbus, if Terry Francona is willing to go with a 7-man bullpen.

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