CLEVELAND - Jason Giambi has never taken a single day as a major leaguer for granted.
And at 43, the veteran slugger's not about to start.
Giambi was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday by the Cleveland Indians, who also recalled right-hander Trevor Bauer from Triple-A Columbus to start against Detroit and made several other roster moves.
Although he wasn't in the starting lineup to face Justin Verlander, Giambi is grateful to be back in any capacity.
"It's fun to have your name on the lineup card and get a chance to help the ball club out," he said.
Giambi had been placed on the DL on May 5 with a strained calf he injured a day earlier against the Chicago White Sox. It was his Giambi's second trip to the DL after he fractured a rib during spring training.
Before he went on the DL last month, Giambi, who has 438 career homers, was hitless in 10 at-bats.
It's been a rough start.
"I went basically from a broken rib, played a few games, calf injury," he said. "That kind of happens when you get that short spring training and don't get to play much. It's definitely hard to get going and come back to the cold weather, but I'm excited to be back."
The Indians also promoted utility man Justin Sellers from Triple-A Columbus and optioned infielder Jose Ramirez to the Clippers. First baseman Jesus Aguilar, who had two RBIs in Monday's win over Detroit, and left-hander T.J. House were optioned back to the minor leagues to clear room for Giambi and Bauer.
Indians manager Terry Francona intends to use Giambi in pinch-hitting situations. He'll also be used at designated hitter, and could see more time if Carlos Santana, who is batting .148, continues to struggle.
Giambi said if there was one positive about his calf injury, it's that it didn't prevent him from keeping his swing sharp.
"I was able to do everything," he said. "I could hit. I could do everything else. With the rib, I basically couldn't do anything. I was shut down for basically five weeks, not doing anything.
"So, that was nice. I could still hit, throw, everything but run. I kept up with my hitting, which was great. I feel like I could catch up, like I don't have to make up that time to get some swings in, so that's big for me."
Bauer will be making his second start. The right-hander, who went 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in seven starts in the minors, will match up against Verlander and face Detroit's fearsome lineup for the first time.
The 23-year-old Bauer struck out eight in a spot start against San Diego on April 9. He took the loss, but went back to Columbus and continued to dominate.
"We were glad we got a chance to glimpse the last outing, and then he went back to Triple-A and kicked it into gear," Francona said. "We've been talking for a year, this guy's a big part of what we want to do going forward. And to see him growing and understanding, it's exciting."