Carlos Santana is back in the cleanup spot, and Grady Sizemore apparently will be staying in the middle of the lineup for a while. After taking Santana out of the No. 4 hole on the Indians' just-completed six-game trip, manager Manny Acta returned his young catcher to the cleanup spot before Thursday's game against Texas. "He's swinging the bat better," said Acta. "What's the difference between hitting fourth and fifth? That you can call the fourth spot cleanup and you can't call the fifth spot cleanup?" Santana hit in the fifth spot four times, seventh once and sixth once on the trip against the Rays and Blue Jays. He batted .412 (7-for-17) with four runs and four RBI. During the trip, Santana cut down his body movement at the plate by eliminating a toe tap. He's still only hitting 224 (37-for-165) with six homers and 24 RBI, but Acta says he's not that concerned about Santana's batting average. "In case you haven't noticed, Santana leads this team in on-base percentage (.362), which means he's making the least amount of outs out of the whole team here. That means a lot to me. I'm not a big batting average guy. "Outs . . . the most important thing in the game. And he gives away the least amount of them." It sounds like Sizemore, a leadoff hitter through much of his career, will be hitting in the middle of the lineup until Travis Hafner comes off the disabled list. In Sizemore's six games since being activated from the disabled list May 27, he's batted sixth five times and fifth once -- Thursday. "Right now, we're going to keep Grady where he's been hitting because Hafner isn't here," said Acta.
Carlos Santana bats fourth and Grady Sizemore fifth for Cleveland against the Texas Rangers
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Jun 3