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Indians manager looking to improve at first and third next year

Sep 9, 2011, 7:47 PM EDT

Matt LaPorta Getty Images

The Indians recalled Matt LaPorta from Triple-A Columbus today, but it sounds like this could be his last chance to impress the brass in Cleveland.

Talking to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Manny Acta said he needs better production from the infield corners next season:

“First and third base are positions where we should be looking into improving for next year, whether that’s within or from the outside.”

He’s absolutely right, of course.  Indians first basemen are 12th in the AL with a .748 OPS this year, while the team’s third basemen are 10th at .675.

The hope was that Lonnie Chisenhall would be an offensive upgrade from Jack Hannahan after getting the call to take over at the hot corner at the end of June, but the 22-year-old has hit just .226/.260/.377 in 146 at-bats to date, suggesting that he might need a little more Triple-A time next year.

The 26-year-old LaPorta has been a disappointment yet again, hitting .238/.289/.404 in 319 at-bats, and is likely running out of chances.  The Indians have gotten solid play from Carlos Santana at first base, but the team doesn’t want to commit to him there just yet.  It sounds like he’ll continue to get the majority of his starts at catcher again next season.

The Indians probably won’t want to spend a lot of money to address either position this winter, but they could go hunting for cheap veterans to hold down the fort.  Former Indians Casey Blake and Mark DeRosa could be couple of inexpensive possibilities.

  1. bigleagues - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Yeah, my Matt LaPorta experiment is over as well. Of course, I’ll go long on the likes of Goldschmidt, Rizzo or Smoak and LaPorta will proceed to have that “break-out season”.

    I saw him have a lot of bad At Bats this year though, and I’m not sure he’s ever gonna make the adjustments.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Do they have a good second baseman who could be traded? The Jays have a spare first baseman who led the PCL in hitting.

  3. contraryguy - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    So they raid the Clippers roster from the last 2 years and suddenly they realize some guys aren’t up for it yet? The Chis callup suprised me, Lonnie’s a decent minor leaguer at best. They have to realize that not all of these guys are going to be Carlos Santana. And after trading White and Pomerantz, the cupboard’s bare. Time for a trade.

  4. contraryguy - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    as for the 2B question, Jason Donald would be the guy. He’s solid but like the others, AAA+ at best.

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