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Tribe boasts formidable lineup, top to bottom

Few changes in one of Majors' most productive offenses in '17
January 6, 2018

The Indians return a strong lineup, but there's one noticeable difference compared to last year: Instead of Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year deal with the Phillies, it'll be Yonder Alonso at first base. Alonso signed a two-year deal with Cleveland in December.Alonso is coming off the best season of

The Indians return a strong lineup, but there's one noticeable difference compared to last year: Instead of Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year deal with the Phillies, it'll be Yonder Alonso at first base. Alonso signed a two-year deal with Cleveland in December.
Alonso is coming off the best season of his career, belting 28 home runs and driving in 67 runs in 2017. He'll help fill the Santana void in the Tribe's balanced lineup.
LINEUP IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Francisco Lindor, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Michael Brantley, LF
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Roberto Perez, C
Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
Bradley Zimmer, CF
STRENGTH
Top to bottom, the Indians have one of the most balanced lineups in baseball, with proven production. They posted the second-highest OPS in the Majors in their 102-win season in 2017.
QUESTION MARK
How healthy is Brantley? It's a question that has been uttered plenty of times over the past few seasons. The verdict is still out on whether he will be ready by Opening Day after having surgery in October on his right ankle. Brantley was an All-Star last year, but the injury limited him to 90 games.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
Manager Terry Francona will have to decide whether Ramirez will play second or third base. That decision could impact Kipnis, who has been at second for most of his career but is now being considered for the outfield. If Kipnis is moved to the outfield and Brantley is healthy, how will that affect the position shuffle?

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com.