Shin-Soo Choo is making his return ahead of schedule, which is great for the lineup of the Indians. Choo will return to his spot in right field, while Fukudome moves to center and Carrera to left.
Carrera is in left for Michael Brantley, who is nursing a wrist injury. Shelley Duncan could also see some time in left field while Brantley is out.
Choo’s return meant that a roster spot had to be cleared. This came down to either Shelley Duncan or Austin Kearns. Duncan has spent this season going up and down between Columbus and Cleveland, but Kearns was the one who was let go this time around.
Kearns had done nothing special all year, with his only highlight being a home run on July 4th against the Yankees. He hit .200 with only two home runs and seven runs batted in, in 57 games this season.
Kearns was designated for assignment, and it is possible that another team might have interest in him. He was not performing all that well last year when the Indians traded him to the Yankees.
Choo’s return will help bring some stability back to the lineup of the Indians. Once Brantley returns, the lineup will be the strongest it has been all year. The addition of both Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall to the lineup is a major upgrade over Orlando Cabrera and Jack Hannahan.
Choo is in the leadoff spot tonight, and it will be interesting to see how he responds. If he does well, he could be in the spot until Brantley returns, which could be a few weeks if his injury requires him to go on the DL.