Besides Bourn, little set with Tribe lineup
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona essentially told his players and reporters the same thing in regards to the first starting lineup of the spring.
"Don't read too much into it," Francona said.
Cleveland's first batting order of the spring, assembled for Friday's Cactus League-opening 11-10 win against the Reds, had center fielder Michael Bourn in the leadoff spot. Francona said that is probably the only spot in the lineup set in stone at the moment.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, second baseman Jason Kipnis, first baseman Nick Swisher, left fielder Michael Brantley, catcher Carlos Santana, designated hitter Mark Reynolds, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and right fielder Drew Stubbs followed Bourn in the batting order.
Francona said he did not spend too much time piecing that together.
"That lineup is insignificant. It means nothing," Francona said. "Obviously, Bourn hitting leadoff -- that's kind of an easy one. But other than that, there was not a lot of thinking involved in that."
Asked if Swisher might be given a chance to stay in the cleanup spot, Francona only went as far as saying he has discussed different scenarios with the first baseman.
"I've talked to him a little bit," Francona said. "I'm not ready to make out the lineup for the season yet. Those things have a way of working themselves out. It just doesn't ever make sense to me to do it too quick, because then you backtrack."
Cleveland's projected Opening Day lineup incudes four pure left-handed hitters (Bourn, Kipnis, Brantley and Chisenhall), three switch-hitters (Cabrera, Swisher and Santana) and two right-handed hitters (Reynolds and Stubbs). Francona said his goal this year will be to keep a balanced order as often as possible.
"What I'd like to do," Francona said, "is not make it easy for the opposing manager to bring in a lefty without having to face either a switch-hitter or a right-hander. So, the way our team is constituted today, you're going to probably see a lefty hit lower than he's used to.
"It's because we're going to want to separate mostly Brantley and Kipnis. They're two good hitters. I'm not doing them any favors by hitting them back to back."