Cleveland also recalled relief pitcher Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus, optioning right-hander Corey Kluber back to the Clippers and placing reliever Matt Albers on the paternity list, to clear two roster spots.
Though Giambi, 42, began the season on the injured list with a lower back strain, he has remained with the team and provided valuable veteran leadership.
“I said right away in spring that he wasn’t a veteran he is the veteran,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s a great guy to have around. The fact that he’s active, only enhances that.”
“It’s great to have Jason active,” Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s made a huge impact on our team in a time he wasn’t even on the field and we’re excited to have him on the active roster so he can make an impact on the field in addition to off the field.”
Francona said he would try to get Giambi into a game as soon as possible.
“It’s hard to have a set plan because some of it depends on how guys hit, some of it depends on if guys get nicked up,” he said.
Kluber was promoted to make a spot start Wednesday against the Yankees that wound up being postponed by rain.
The Indians won’t need a fifth starter until April 20, which could be the date that left-hander Scott Kazmir (right rib cage strain) makes his season debut. Kazmir, who won the final spot in the rotation this spring, is eligible to leave the disabled list April 17.
Hagadone began the year on the big league roster but was sent down on Opening Day, with the Indians needing to add Kazmir in order to make his DL trip retroactive to April 2.
Albers has appeared in four games, allowing three runs on six hits over five innings. Francona said there is no timetable on his return.
Francona said Carlos Santana (left thumb bruise) could return to the lineup today.
Santana, who hasn’t played since leaving Monday’s game when he took a pitch off his left hand while catching, took batting practice for the second straight day Friday at Progressive Field.
“He’s doing very well,” Francona said.
Lost in translation
Francona clarified his statement regarding Ubaldo Jimenez, whom the manager said had a “heathy” side session Wednesday at Progressive Field, prompting reporters to think the right-hander was injured.
“I think I meant to say crisp,” Francona said. “(Healthy) was a bad word. He’s very healthy. My point was that he had a good side session and we were trying to build off that.”
Jimenez, who pitched poorly in his second outing of the season in the home opener — seven runs over 4⅓ innings — was scheduled to pitch today but had his start moved back to Tuesday.
Columbus right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka left the Clippers’ home opener Friday with an apparent injury. Matsuzaka departed in the third inning after allowing three runs on three hits and five walks.
• Double-A Akron infielder Jose Ramirez’s six-game hitting streak to start the season was snapped in an 0-for-4 effort during a 5-1 loss to Bowie. Ramirez, a non-drafted free-agent acquisition in 2009, entered Friday batting .357 with two RBIs in seven games.
• Advanced Class A Carolina infielder Joey Wendle is riding a five-game hitting streak. Wendle, a sixth-round draft pick last year, entered Friday batting .474 (9-for-19) with a homer and six RBIs over the span.
The Indians entered Friday owning a 32-22 (.593) record in April from 2011-13, which ranked fourth in the majors behind the Rangers (40-19), Cardinals (35-22) and Dodgers (35-24).