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Indians call in the cavalry, acquire Fukudome

The Sports Xchange

One day after being no-hit by the Angels' Ervin Santana, the Indians made a move to upgrade their offense. They used Thursday's off day to trade two minor-leaguers to the Cubs for outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.

To make room on the roster for Fukudome the Indians designated outfielder Travis Buck for assignment. Both players are left-handed hitters.

Fukudome will replace Buck as the Indians' right fielder vs. right-handed pitchers, although general manager Chris Antonetti said Fukudome hits left-handers well enough that he could play against them.

Ideally the Indians were seeking a right-handed hitter to plug into their lefty-heavy lineup. But as the club's offensive problems mounted in recent weeks, the search was expanded to consider any hitters, regardless of which side of the plate they hit from.

Fukudome's best attribute, according to Antonetti, is his ability to get on base, which will be helpful to the Indians, who have played most of this season without their two top outfield bats, Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo.

With Sizemore and Choo injured, the Indians' outfield in recent games has been Buck in right field, Michael Brantley in left and rookie Ezequiel Carrera in center. Those three players have combined to hit eight home runs this season.

Fukudome isn't considered a home run hitter, but his ability to get on base makes him a candidate to bat leadoff for the Indians. Fukudome hit mostly in the leadoff spot for the Cubs, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him replace Carrera in the leadoff spot.

Carrera probably would then be moved to second or ninth.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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