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Indians plan to be patient with .172-hitting Johnny Damon

May 21, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

damon ap AP

Johnny Damon has hit just .172 in 16 games since joining the Indians at the beginning of the month, providing little return on a one-year, $1.25 million contract with another $1.4 million in potential incentives.

Manny Acta has already removed Damon from the leadoff spot, but the manager indicated that he’s not close to benching the 38-year-old veteran:

We don’t have a timetable or anything. Damon is here to play for us up until he doesn’t want to be here. We signed Damon to be part of the Cleveland Indians. Johnny was signed to be part of this ballclub until the end.

It probably helps Damon’s cause that the Indians are in first place at 23-18 and the rest of the lineup has been decent, putting Cleveland in the middle of the AL pack for run scoring.

Obviously any time a 38-year-old struggles it’s natural to wonder if he’s finished as a productive regular, particularly in Damon’s case when he sat out all of April while trying to find a new team. One positive sign within his overall struggles is that Damon has more walks (9) than strikeouts (6) in 67 plate appearances, suggesting that he hasn’t been overmatched at the plate even if the hits haven’t come yet. Otherwise, though, it’s been pretty ugly.

  1. hiltonandastoria - May 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Why?
    He’s there for one selfish reason and isn’t better than a replacement level player

    He has it in his contract he can walk away from the Indians if he isn’t getting played enough to get his precious 3000. It’s all about Damon like it always has been.

    Just go away Damon and buy a ticket to the Hall, a place you don’t deserve to be in even with 3000

    • Kevin Gillman - May 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      You have proof in that? I mean, did you see the contract when Johnny signed it?

      • hiltonandastoria - May 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        The Indians plan to stick by Johnny Damon despite his struggles so far with the team, writes MLB.com’s Justin Albers. Damon has a clause in his contract which would allow him to be released if he isn’t getting enough playing time or isn’t a good fit for the team.

        http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120520&content_id=31808074&notebook_id=31808076&vkey=notebook_cle&c_id=cle&partnerId=rss_mlb

        Ya

        Ya I do

      • Kevin Gillman - May 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM

        You didn’t answer my question, I asked did you SEE the contract Johnny signed personally? The reason I am asking is because some people have said there is a clause, and others have not. I think the bottom line is if Johnny is released, it’s not due to lack of playing time, but rather actual performance.

      • hiltonandastoria - May 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

        Sorry I don’t answer stupid and what I have to assume is rhetorical questions

      • Kevin Gillman - May 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

        First off, chill out, second of all, it’s not a stupid question, because the media finds out only what the players and teams want them to know. I just think it’s a stupid clause put into the contract, now get over yourself.

  2. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - May 22, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    The bottom line is, he had no spring training this year to get ready and is just about at the number of at bats he would have accumulated had he been in camp. If he’s still hitting below .200 a month from now, I’d be concerned, but at this point I’d say he has earned the benefit of the doubt.

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