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Lineup becomes even more lefty-dominated

The Sports Xchange
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Johnny Damon made his debut with the Indians Wednesday night in a 6-3 win over the White Sox. Shin-Soo Choo also returned to the lineup after missing six games with a tight hamstring.

The addition of Damon and the return of Choo, both left-handed hitters, gives the Indians' lineup an even more decidedly tilt towards the left. With right-hander Philip Humber starting for the White Sox, Indians' manager Manny Acta used an all-lefty hitting lineup.

The lineup included two switch-hitters, Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana, who both, naturally, batted left-handed against Humber. The lineup also included seven true left-handed hitters: Damon, Jason Kipnis, Travis Hafner, Choo, Michael Brantley, Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan.

That will be the Indians' starting lineup on most days going forward, so the Indians can probably expect to see a steady diet of left-handed pitchers, whenever possible, from opposing teams. Even when the opposition is starting a right-handed pitcher, with the Indians using an all-left-handed lineup, opposing managers will almost always bring in left-handed relievers, and they can leave those relievers in for multiple batters.

The Indians' bench now consists of all right-handed batters: Shelley Duncan, Jason Donald, Aaron Cunningham and backup catcher Lou Marson. With the exception of Duncan, none of those hitters are home run or run-producing threats, so the Indians don't figure to do much pinch-hitting.

Not surprisingly, the Indians thus far this season have done much better vs. right-handed starters than left-handers. When the opposition has started a left-hander the Indians' record is 2-5. When the opposition has started a right-hander the Indians are 10-5.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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