The Indians promoted veteran outfielder Melky Cabrerafrom Class AAA Columbus and started him in right field Sunday night against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Cabrera, 33, signed a minor league deal with the Indians on April 26. He spent several days in extended spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., before reporting to Columbus where he hit .286 (12-for-42) with four doubles and four RBI in 10 games.

Right-hander Evan Marshall was optioned to Columbus to make room for the switch-hitting Cabrera on the 25-man roster. Right-hander Alexi Ogando was designated for assignment to make room for Cabrera on the 40-man roster.

"I feel good, I'm happy and prepared to help the team," said Cabrera through team interpreter Will Clements.

Cabrera believes he's ready to compete at the big league level after his time in extended spring training and Columbus.

"I started off in extended spring training," said Cabrera. "Then I got 42 at-bats in Columbus. Thank God, I feel really good."

Manager Terry Francona said the reports on Cabrera have been good.

"We wanted to give Melky a chance to be Melky," said Francona. "I don't think that's fair to anybody just because you have a need to call up a guy prematurely.

"By all accounts he's done a really good job. He's worked hard and got himself in really good shape. I think we feel it's fair to him."