Magglio Returns to Lineup Tonight, Indians Shuffle Order
By John Parent
Although Tigers manager Jim Leyland was non-committal was approached on the subject last night, he has seen fit to insert right fielder Magglio Ordonez into the starting lineup for this evening’s game with Tampa Bay. The Free Press broke the news on twitter by saying the following:
"Cabrera batting sixth and playing RF today"
Hey, Miguel Cabrera has experience in the outfield. It’s not that far-fetched. Of course what they meant was Ordonez, not Cabrera, is hitting sixth and playing right. And you thought Ryan Raburn‘s outfield defense was an adventure, just imagine the big fella patrolling right.
Personally, I’m elated that Maggs is back and am holding out hope that he truly can find reasonable facsimile of his former self at the plate. But I’m also elated that Leyland has not simply anointed him the three-hitter again. Brennan Boesch, despite his Sunday 0-for-5, has been on a tear of late; there’s just no reason to take away the protection that Cabrera provides him.
Ordonez should be an upgrade over the slumping Andy Dirks in the sixth spot and hopefully provide some RBI chances for Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila. If Ordonez can return to form, the Tigers have a much deeper lineup than any of their AL Central brethren and a lineup that might be rivaled only by those in Boston, Texas, and New York.
Indians Shaking up the Order
The Cleveland Indians have wasted a once eight game cushion over the Detroit Tigers and now desperate times have lead Tribe manager Manny Acta to desperate measures.
Even during the Cleveland slide, the top of their order has been stellar. Michael Brantley has excelled this season while leading off and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is having an MVP-type year in the two-hole. But with the offense stagnant without Travis Hafner, Acta has decided to try something new.
Meet the new lead-off man, same as the old lead-off man. Grady Sizemore has been hitting third for most of the season, almost exclusively so since returning from the disabled list. Sizemore, who occupied the lead-off spot for the vast majority of his career before this season, is back at the top of the order tonight, swapping places with Brantley, who moves into the three-hole. Cabrera has also been dropped in the order, and will make his first career start in the clean-up spot tonight. Former clean-up man Carlos Santana will take his low batting average (.223) and high on base percentage (.353) and hope to get on base ahead of the new heart of the Indians’ order.
The move is designed to jump start the entire offense, and should at least give their best hitters some traffic on the bases in front of them. Sizemore should be comfortable in the role seeing as how he’s been a lead-off man his whole career, and Santana’s propensity to walk will come in handy more in the two-spot than when the team is in need of a clutch run-scoring hit.
Cleveland wraps up a series in New York tonight before heading to Motown for four games with the Tigers starting tomorrow.
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