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Cleveland Indians

Carroll moves up to leadoff spot

By Sheldon Published: June 12, 2009

   CLEVELAND: Jamey Carroll made his second start of the season as the Indians' leadoff batter Friday night, but it won't be his last. [ep
   ""This is a good time to give Benny (Francisco) a day off and let him catch his breath,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""Jamey puts up tough at-bats. He's really knowledgeable; he understands the game.'' [ep
   Carroll also has been on a roll lately. He has started only 17 games all season, but eight have come this month. He is batting .355 in June, despite going 0-for-4 in his last start Wednesday night. [ep
   The key to keeping Carroll productive might be mixing in enough days off to avoid fatigue. That's how Wedge is approaching it. [ep
   ""You have to have calculate some off days in there to keep him fresh,'' the manager said. ""He's going to be a regular player. I just don't see him playing seven days a week. And when he's in there, I like to see him in the first or second spot in the order.'' [ep
   Wedge might have feared he was running out of viable leadoff batters when Grady Sizemore went down with inflammation of the lining of his left elbow and Asdrubal Cabrera sprained his left AC joint. Neither player is likely to return to the lineup for at least two weeks, so Wedge will have to settle on Carroll at the top of the lineup or go back to Francisco. [ep
   Carroll made one previous start in the leadoff spot, going 0-for-3 with three walks in the Tribe's 11-10 comeback win over Tampa Bay on May 25. Carroll scored the game winner. [ep
   He has batted in the second slot seven times; he also hit in the seventh, eighth or ninth positions in eight games. [ep
  ""I don't care where I bat,'' Carroll said. ""It doesn't make any difference to me. I take the same approach no matter if I bat near the top of the order or the bottom. '' [ep
   As a leadoff hitter, Carroll might be a candidate to bunt for a hit, but there are complications in doing that. [ep
   "If they give it to me,'' he said. ""But they see a little guy up there, so they play in on me. That makes it tough.'' [ep
   What happens to Francisco if Carroll regularly bats at the top of the order? Friday night, he was in the seventh spot. [ep
   ""I think having Benny there lengthens our lineup,'' said Wedge, referring to Francisco's RBI potential and capabilities as a gap hitter. [ep
   Francisco spent eight consecutive games as the Tribe's leadoff hitter and batted only .167. [ep
   LONG ROAD BACK -- Anthony Reyes underwent surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and to transpose the ulnar nerve in his right arm Friday. [ep
   Dr. Lewis Yocum performed the three-hour operation in Anaheim, Calif. [ep
   The usual recovery for such procedures is 12-18 months. Jake Westbrook is 12 months from Tommy John surgery, and he made his second rehabilitation start at Akron Friday night. He is not expected to be activated until the end of the month. [ep
   Reyes has not pitched for almost a month. In eight starts, he posted a 1-1 record and 6.57 earned-run average. He had a history of elbow problems before he was traded from St. Louis to Cleveland a year ago. [ep
  THE LATEST OBSTACLE -- The Indians issued a statement concerning the seagulls that have invaded Progressive Field, one of which was struck by Shin-Soo Choo's game-winning single Thursday night. [ep
   ""Over the past several weeks, the Cleveland Indians have been doing research regarding the gull issue we've encountered at Progressive Field,'' said vice president of public relations Bob DiBiasio. ""This research has included contacting a variety of institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio Division of Wildlife and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, to name a few. [ep
  ""The main reason for this issue has been the increase of nesting pairs in Cleveland's "Flats' on flat-top roof buildings. Gulls are riding the wind currents up the valley walls to the ballpark in search for food scraps to feed their young. The Indians are continuing to research ways to control this issue under the guidance of gulls being federally protected.'' [ep
   As manager Eric Wedge said, ""It's being addressed. It'sw a matter of what they can do that will work. It's only happens a couple of times a year. Playing baseball and playing outdoors, anything can happen. That's the beauty of the game.'' [ep
   FARM FACTS -- Chuck Lofgren (1-2, 3.71 ERA) gave up four runs (three earned) and seven hits in six innings in Columbus' 6-1 loss to Louisville. *elip Adam Abraham doubled twice and drove in two runs in Lake County's 3-2 win over Delmarva. [ep

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