CLEVELAND — Johnny Damon brings a presence to the top of the Indians lineup and professionalism to the clubhouse.
Big bonuses for the ballclub.
However, what the Indians are craving is some power.
In fact, any power.
Damon, the Rays' DH last season who has been at the Indians' facility in Goodyear, Ariz., warming up a swing that has produced nearly 3,000 hits and readying his legs for the grind of his 18th season, will join the AL Central-leading team today in Chicago when it opens a three-game series against the White Sox.
Cleveland signed Damon, 38, on April 17, a minimal-risk move made to upgrade the club's outfield and potentially ignite a sputtering offense.
The Indians have been wildly inconsistent at the plate and have gone 11 consecutive games without a home run. According to STATS LLC, Cleveland's homerless drought is the majors' third-longest since 2000. Only the Angels in 2007 (14 games) and Giants in 2008 (12) had longer gaps between home runs.
"We'll hit another one," deadpanned manager Manny Acta after Sunday's 4-0 win over the Angels.
PETTITTE FEELS READY: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte said he's ready to join the major-league rotation after a 96-pitch outing at extended spring training in Clearwater. "I feel I'm strong enough and ready to make my next start with (the Yankees) … I feel like I'm ready to help the team," Pettitte said after yielding six runs against Phillies minor-leaguers.
In other Yankees news, RF Nick Swisher is expected to miss a week because of a strained left hamstring.
COGHLAN DEMOTED: For the second straight year, the Marlins optioned 2009 NL rookie of the year and former East Lake High standout Chris Coghlan to Triple-A New Orleans. Coghlan, 26, was hitting .118 in 34 at-bats, mostly off the bench.
D'BACKS CHECK ON VLAD: Diamondbacks vice president Junior Noboa said the team is taking a serious look at free agent Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero, 37, worked out at the team's Dominican complex.
ANGELS: Former Rays INF Jorge Cantu exercised the opt-out clause in his minor-league contract and became a free agent.
A'S: The team finalized a deal with 3B Brandon Inge, who was in the starting lineup.
DODGERS: RH reliever Todd Coffey, out since April 14 with right knee inflammation, was activated from the disabled list.
MARLINS: With the team on the road for the next nine games, the grounds crew will use sun lamps to try to revive the fading turf at the new ballpark. The grass has been turning brown because the retractable roof was closed more than anticipated in April.
METS: RHP Mike Pelfrey will have elbow ligament replacement surgery today in Alabama, the team announced. … CF Andres Torres, out since April 6 with a strained left calf, was activated from the disabled list.
RANGERS: OF Josh Hamilton was held out because of a sore back sustained Sunday night against the Rays.
RED SOX: 3B Kevin Youkilis was scratched because of lower-back tightness.