Johnson dealing with spider bite on finger

Indians infielder hospitalized with swelling Sunday

Johnson dealing with spider bite on finger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians manager Terry Francona was out of options when Ryan Raburn was tasked with facing Twins right-hander Kevin Jepsen in the eighth inning of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Twins.

Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis are sidelined with shoulder issues and Lonnie Chisenhall had already been used as a pinch-hitter. What about Chris Johnson?

"He got bit by a spider or something," Francona said.

True story.

Johnson, who was acquired from the Braves in the Aug. 7 trade that shipped outfielders Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn to the Braves, was unavailable on Sunday while recovering from a nasty bug bite on his left index finger. The digit swelled to the point on Sunday morning that Johnson was sent to a local hospital for treatment, which included being given antibiotics.

The Indians will open a three-game series with the Red Sox in Boston on Monday, and Johnson's status is unknown at this point.

"Hopefully, the swelling will go down soon, in a day or two, and I'll be back out there," said Johnson, whose left hand was wrapped after Sunday's game. "We'll just kind of wait and see."

Johnson said he woke up on Saturday morning with a small bump on his finger, which was treated at the ballpark by Cleveland's medical staff. By Sunday morning, the swelling hindered the utility man's ability to bend his finger, prompting the trip to the hospital.

"I woke up [Saturday] morning with that little pimple-looking bite," Johnson said. "And they were like, 'Yeah, you got bit by something.' We put some stuff on it and it wasn't swollen. I woke up this morning and it was swollen and oozing and red. It was gross."

Raburn, who has only 19 at-bats against righties this season, struck out against Jepsen to strand a pair of runners in the eighth inning.

In the Indians' training room, the medical staff joked with Johnson that the same thing happened to Spiderman.

"[They were] saying that I'd be pretty good at baseball being Spiderman," Johnson said with a laugh.

Johnson said he would keep the team updated on whether he develops any superpowers.

"You'll know," he quipped. "I'll be gone. I'll be saving the world."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.