The Indians’ lineup for Friday’s exhibition opener could have been mistaken for the regular-season batting order. Manager Terry Francona must have thought so, too.

Michael Bourn led off, Asdrubal Cabrera batted second and Jason Kipnis third, followed by Nick Swisher, Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, Mark Reynolds, Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs.

Without prompting, Francona made certain that his players and the media knew that the spring lineup had nothing to do with the batting order he will design once the real season starts.

“I told [coach] Brad Mills to tell the players that this lineup is insignificant, it means nothing, other than Bourn batting leadoff,” Francona said. “Not a lot of thinking went into this batting order. I’m not ready to make out a lineup for the season yet.”

Priorities for creating a lineup vary with different managers. But all of them try to do at least two things: Install guys at or near the top of the order who reach base most often, and alternate left-handed and right-handed batters as much as possible, given other considerations, such as speed, power or contact.

“I want to make sure that when an opposing manager brings in a lefty, he has to face a right-handed hitter or a switch hitter,” Francona said. “I’m mostly talking about [lefties] Brantley and Kipnis. Both of them are good hitters, and I wouldn’t be doing them any favors hitting them back to back.”

That would have been difficult to avoid if Francona had been the Tribe manager last year, when the roster was stuffed with left-handed batters, putting the team at a distinct disadvantage against left-handed pitchers. The only way to get more than two righties (switch hitters) into the game was to go to the bench for players who too often are offensively challenged.

In addition to acquiring more potent offensive players during the winter, an effort was made to bring in hitters who bat from the right side, such as Reynolds and Stubbs, or a switch hitter, such as Swisher. Francona has three switch hitters to work with, including Cabrera and Santana.

The other part of the Indians’ new look revolves around speed. Five legitimate base stealers will dot the lineup on a regular basis. It’s been decades, if ever, that the Tribe attack contained that many players who can run.