Indians to put 1B Branyan on DL, LaPorta to start

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland first baseman Russell Branyan is going on the disabled list with a herniated disc in his back, giving the starting job to Matt LaPorta.

Indians manager Manny Acta said Sunday that the team didn't think Branyan had enough time to get ready for the season opener April 5 at the Chicago White Sox.

Branyan has yet to play in a Cactus League game because of his back. Back problems landed him on the disabled list in September when he was with Seattle.

Acta says LaPorta will start at first base, while a decision on left field will be made Thursday. Michael Brantley is competing with Trevor Crowe and Austin Kearns for the starting job.