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Francona thinks team will handle lefties well

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The early results against left-handed starters has not been good for the Indians. The Tribe has gone 1-3 against lefties entering Friday's game, hitting just .192 with a .542 OPS, both figures ranking 12th in the American League.

Nonetheless, Indians manager Francona remains confident he has the personnel to handle southpaw pitchers.

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CHICAGO -- The early results against left-handed starters has not been good for the Indians. The Tribe has gone 1-3 against lefties entering Friday's game, hitting just .192 with a .542 OPS, both figures ranking 12th in the American League.

Nonetheless, Indians manager Francona remains confident he has the personnel to handle southpaw pitchers.

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"I don't think with our bench, it should impact us a whole lot," he said. "We match up pretty good, like splits or vs. lefty or righty just by changing it, because we have three switch-hitters and have some guys on the bench that can do things, so I think it's more of how guys pitch, not the way they pitch."

It's also too small of a sample size to draw a realistic conclusion. The Indians have lost to talented veteran lefties Scott Kazmir (A's) and John Danks (White Sox), as well as highly-touted Padres prospect Robbie Erlin, and beat Erlin's rotation mate, Eric Stults.

"We've got how many more games left? We've only got a handful of games so far, so it's still early," Ryan Raburn said. "You can't look into it too much right now. Guys hitting .100, that don't mean nothing. Guys hitting .500 don't mean nothing. It's still early, guys playing hard, and that's all that matters. Sooner or later, we'll get on a hot streak and start rolling off some wins. "

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians