Russell Branyan is back with the Indians organization, but don’t expect to see him at Progressive Field the last five weeks of the season.
The Indians signed Branyan to a minor-league contract on Friday. Branyan, 38, has been assigned to Columbus and was in the lineup, playing first base against Indianapolis.
Branyan has not been in the Majors since 2011 and spent this year with Tijuana in the Mexican League, where he had 19 home runs for 59 RBI and a 1.043 OPS. With Columbus and Akron both qualifying for the playoffs and Major League rosters expanding on Monday, Branyan’s signing fills a minor-league need for a power hitter when the postseason begins. He is not expected to be called up when Columbus’ season ends as the organization will call up their younger prospects first. The Clippers will take on Durham in the first round of the International League playoffs starting on Wednesday.
Branyan, who spent 14 seasons in the Majors, was drafted in the seventh round by the Indians in 1994 and he spent parts of six seasons in Cleveland (1998-2002 and 2010). In 294 games, he batted .232 with 55 home runs.
GOMES ACTIVATED: Yan Gomes has been activated off the seven-day disabled list and will bat sixth tonight as the Tribe opens a pivotal three-game series in Kansas City.
Gomes was on the DL due to concussion symptoms after taking a baseball off the catcher’s mask during an Aug. 21 game at Minnesota. He is hitting .284 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 109 games. Infielder/catcher Chris Gimenez was placed on the paternity list and can stay on there for three days.
ONE AWAY: With their next victory, the Indians will become the third American League franchise to record 9,000 victories. Cleveland’s all-time record is 8,999-8,677. The Yankees have 9,898 wins and Boston 9,133. Seven National League franchises have over 9,000 wins.