Travis Buck is a name that is not recognized among many Indians fans. Once the season starts, it will be. He is hitting .404 this spring and is looking to contribute during the season.
He spent 2010 in Oakland and on their AAA team. He only played 14 games in the majors and has a career average of .250. He was on their opening day roster from 2007-2009 but he struggled and was sent to the minors.
The injury of Sizemore benefits Buck as he is an outfielder. With Grady being out that leaves a starting outfield of Kearns, Brantley, and Choo. The next in line is Buck who should see some time, most likely in left field in place of Kearns, before the return of Grady Sizemore.
The only other person that will compete with Buck for this playing time is Shelley Duncan. He is hitting .286 this spring with 9 rbi’s. The problem occurs when Sizemore returns. That will result in Brantley moving to left field and Kearns will become the new backup. Grady’s roster spot will mean that either Buck or Duncan will have to be sent to Columbus. Their play in April will determine whether they stay or go.
Travis Buck is yet another player given a chance by the Indians who made a great impression. Last year Austin Kearns earned himself a roster spot, along with a brief stint on the Yankees after being invited to Goodyear by Manny Acta. This year along with Travis Buck, new starting third baseman Jack Hannahan is another player who made a name for himself in spring training. Recent signee Nick Johnson might continue this tradition once he is healthy.