Matt LaPorta returned to the Tribe last night, after being on the DL since June 17th, and had two hits in the win over the Yankees. His return is something that was needed to spark the offense, and help return the lineup to what it was at the beginning of the year.
When LaPorta was out of the lineup, the offense struggled to score. This was highlighted in the series in San Francisco, in which the offense scored a combined four runs in three games. The bottom of the lineup consisted of Jack Hannahan, Lou Marson, and the pitcher. This abyss at the bottom of the lineup was something that had to be fixed.
The lineup was improved when Lonnie Chisenhall was called up, and made an immediate impact while in Arizona. He is a much better hitter than Jack Hannahan, and is also a talented defensive player.
The pitcher in the lineup went away once the Indians returned home, but Lou Marson was still in the lineup. He has had flashes of good play, but he is not a reliable hitter.
Marson was in the lineup because Carlos Santana played at first, due to LaPorta’s absence. LaPorta’s return helps return the offense to its normal form, with Santana behind the plate.
The only piece of the lineup that is not ideal is the spot once held by Shin-Soo Choo. Right field is now being played by Austin Kearns and Travis Buck, once he comes off of the DL. Kearns has been having a poor year thus far, but his home run on Monday made me and many Indians fans forget about his past. If Kearns and Buck can be consistent at the plate, the Indians offense should be just fine. If they can’t, a trade is always a possibility.