DETROIT -- Austin Jackson hustled up the first-base line on Monday night at Comerica Park, beating out a throw from Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias for an infield single. It was an impressive effort by the veteran Indians outfielder, but the play came at a cost.
On Tuesday, the Indians placed Jackson on the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended left big toe and recalled reliever Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus. In the ninth inning of Monday's 7-1 loss, Jackson landed awkwardly on first base on his infield hit, and he was in clear discomfort after slowing to a stop up the first-base line.
"He was tender," Indians manager Terry Francona. "I think he thought that he could play maybe in three or four days, but he wasn't sure, and neither were we. So, we felt like, OK, we'll get a pitcher here ... just to protect our bullpen."
With Jackson on the shelf for the time being, the Indians' outfield now consists of left fielder Michael Brantley, along with outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall (center and right), Brandon Guyer (corners) and Abraham Almonte (all three spots). Jackson had primarily been used as a center fielder against left-handed pitching.
Prior to Tuesday's game against the Tigers, Jackson played catch with head athletic trainer James Quinlan in left field at Comerica Park, then went through a series of footwork drills. Following the short workout, Jackson returned to the clubhouse and Cleveland announced his move to the disabled list.
The good news for the Indians is that Jackson's left knee is not the issue. Last June, when the outfielder was with the White Sox, he underwent surgery on the knee to repair a torn meniscus, ending his season. Jackson then signed with Cleveland as a Minor League free agent over the offseason, and he earned a spot on the Opening Day roster with a solid showing and a clean bill of health in the spring.
"This same exact thing had happened prior to him hurting his knee," Francona said. "So, I think he had that on his mind, for sure."
In 12 games, Jackson has posted a .273/.368/.485 slash line to go with one home run, two RBIs and three runs scored.
The promotion of Armstrong gives Francona an eight-man bullpen, which is the manager's preferred alignment. Armstrong began the season in the Tribe's 'pen, posting an 8.44 ERA with seven strikeouts and five walks in 5 1/3 innings (four appearances). In four games back with Triple-A Columbus, the hard-throwing righty had eight strikeouts, two walks and a 5.06 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.
"He's fresh, which is good. He's doing a good job," Francona said. "He handled the send-down well. He conducted himself well. It's nice to be able to call him back up, because I don't think he deserved to get sent down. Sometimes, those things happen."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.