Shuck thrilled to get opportunity with Indians

Outfielder to get chance to contribute to club's playoff push

Shuck thrilled to get opportunity with Indians

CLEVELAND -- J.B. Shuck had returned to his Houston-area home on Monday after the conclusion of his season with Triple-A Salt Lake. The outfielder knew there was a chance that he might be claimed off trade waivers, so he did what he could to keep doing daily baseball actitivies.

Cleveland claimed Shuck and acquired him from the Angels in exchange for cash considerations on Friday, giving the outfielder two pleasant surprises. For starters, he was getting the chance to return to the big leagues. The added bonus was that Shuck joined the team he rooted for while growing up in Ohio.

"It was very exciting," Shuck said on Saturday. "Growing up an hour and 15 [minutes] from here, I was a huge fan. That was in the '90s when, shoot, they dominated the American League. It's a great feeling to be able to come back here and play in this stadium and put on an Indians jersey."

Indians manager Terry Francona met with Shuck prior to Saturday's game against the White Sox and delivered a simple message.

"He said he was excited to be here," Francona said. "I told him, I said, 'I know it's an odd time to do a move like this, but we're happy to have you.' I just told him to be ready and he said he would be."

The 27-year-old Shuck -- a native of Galion, Ohio, and a product of Ohio State University -- will serve as a reserve outfielder capable of handling all three spots off Cleveland's bench. The left-handed-swinging Shuck spent the bulk of this season with Triple-A Salt Lake, where he hit .320 with five homers, 32 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and 64 runs in 102 games.

In 22 games with the Angels this season, Shuck hit just .167 with two homers and nine RBIs. It was a drastic contrast from 2013, when he turned in a .293 average with 25 extra-base hits, 39 RBIs and 60 runs scored in 129 games. Shuck said the makeup of the Angels' roster this season just did not allow for much of a Major League opportunity.

"It was just the way the roster fell this year," Shuck said. "They needed a right-handed bat as an outfielder and, unfortunately, I can't hit right-handed. It just didn't work out, but I was given an opportunity to go play every day in Triple-A and I just tried to make the best of that."

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.