The Indians have added a switch-hitter in Nick Swisher and right-handed hitters in Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs and Mike Aviles to help balance the lineup, but they could still have matchup problems with left-handed hitters Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall. It was a dilemma for former manager Manny Acta, and it will pose some problems for Terry Francona as well. Just look at the top of the lineup. Francona could go with Bourn, Kipnis and Brantley in the first three spots, but that's an open invitation for a left-handed pitcher to go to work against them late in the game. Last season, that happened seemingly on a nightly basis. "It's not really an issue with Bourn because his splits are almost identical," said Francona. "I just don't want to make it harder on Kipnis and Brantley. Not that they can't hit lefties, but I'd rather not have a manager look up and say this inning is made for my left-hander."
Terry Francona seeks balance throughout the order
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Feb 19