DETROIT -- Zach Walters might have a home on the Indians' bench at some point this season, but the team wants him at Triple-A Columbus for the time being.
On Friday, the Indians activated Walters from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A, where he had already been working on a Minor League rehab assignment. The 25-year-old played two games with Columbus before being deemed recovered from the right oblique strain that sidelined him midway through Spring Training.
"It's more of just a paper move that's not going to affect his at-bats," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Once he's healthy, put him on the Triple-A roster, and let him play. Just like he would be used here, he'll move around [positions] there, because that's most likely how he'll be used here, unless there [is] an injury or something like that."
While vying for a spot on the Tribe's bench this spring, the switch-hitting Walters sustained the injury on a swing against the Royals in a March 12 Cactus League game. The utility man spent the rest of the spring and the early part of April rehabbing the injury, and he began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.
Walters went 2-for-9 with a pair of triples in his two rehab games, appearing at third base and in left field for the Clippers. The Indians worked Walters out at all four infield positions, as well as the corner-outfield spots, during Spring Training.
Cleveland acquired Walters on July 31 last season from the Nationals in exchange for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who is now playing for Tampa Bay. In 395 at-bats between the Majors and Triple-A in 2014, Walters belted 27 home runs. He hit just .170 in 88 at-bats for Cleveland after the trade, but posted a .432 slugging percentage, clubbed seven homers and dealt with a right intercostal injury for much of September.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.