Francona: Davis' basestealing key asset

Francona: Davis' basestealing key asset

DETROIT -- When veteran Rajai Davis joined the Indians as a free agent over the offseason, manager Terry Francona did not realize how good of a basestealer Davis was.

Davis, who entered Sunday having stolen 21 bases in 24 attempts this year, has the ability to steal bases safely in clear stealing situations, something Francona thinks is an invaluable asset to a team.

Along with his veteran presence in the clubhouse, Francona is happy with what Davis has brought to Cleveland with his speed.

"He's a great guy," Francona said. "He's kind of come as advertised. We kind of said laughingly the last couple years we hated him because he was such a thorn in our side."

Davis is happy to be with his new club and is soaking in the relaxed atmosphere that goes along with being in first place.

Worth noting 

• Everyday second baseman Jason Kipnis was out of the starting lineup Sunday, a day after leaving the game in the seventh inning with a reported illness.

"I don't know if he was dehydrated, or what, but he was real stiff because of it, so I took him out." Francona said.

Kipnis -- 5-for-47 against Sunday's Detroit starter, Justin Verlander, in his career -- was available off the bench. Francona said he was already contemplating giving Kipnis an extra day of rest before he left Saturday's game.

• The Indians pushed Corey Kluber's next start back to Tuesday, taking advantage of last Thursday's day off. Francona said everything is fine with Kluber, they just wanted to give him an extra day of rest after throwing a shutout in his last outing.

"I thought we pushed him a little bit on the last start," Francona said. "And we just brought it up in a normal course of conversation, we were like, 'Hey, with a day off...,'" and he said OK."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Indians on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.