Damon hoping to provide glove when needed

Damon hoping to provide glove when needed

Damon hoping to provide glove when needed
CLEVELAND -- Indians outfielder Johnny Damon knows he isn't going to win a Gold Glove. He just hopes he isn't a defensive liability.

After all, the 38-year-old played just 17 games in the field last year, spending the majority of his time as a designated hitter for the Rays.

"Obviously, I'm more here for my bat now more so than my defense," Damon said. "Hopefully my defense can be adequate or average, or a little bit better."

Damon played left field in his first action with the Indians on Wednesday. Manager Manny Acta used the veteran as the DH on Thursday, then placed Damon back in the outfield on Friday. He wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday against the Rangers.

"I probably need to get used to the grind of playing the outfield again and get used to the humidity again," Damon said.

Acta said he doesn't expect Damon to wow anyone with his defensive prowess, but foresees Damon holding his own in the outfield because of his experience and the fact that he's in great physical condition. So far, Damon has only had one mishap.

Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland led off the third inning of Friday's contest with a double. As Damon chased after the fly ball, he initially turned the wrong way. By the time he positioned himself under the ball just in front of the left-field wall, the ball caromed off his mitt. Though it would have been a tough catch to corral, Damon said he felt responsible for Moreland eventually scoring.

"I'm feeling great except for that ball," Damon said. "I asked [center fielder Michael] Brantley what he thought about it and he even said he thought it was a home run. Then all of a sudden it died at the very end and when I turned, it was still a wingspan away. Obviously, I wish I could've came up with it, but that ball came back quite a bit.

"Those are some of the ones you don't really like to deal with, but it happened."