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Cleveland Indians

New pecking order at third for Tribe

By Sheldon Published: July 29, 2010

CLEVELAND: Jayson Nix is the Indians' new everday third baseman, at least for awhile.

In the wake of the deal that sent Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers Wednesday night, manager Manny Acta has a new set of alternatives in front of him that include Nix, Andy Marte and Luis Valbuena. All three could find themselves at third on a given night, but not all three are considered equals.

""Nix will get the first shot at third,'' Acta said this afternoon. ""He's going to get most of the at-bats. We've gotten production from him at second. Andy will also get some starts at third. Valbuena can protect Nix if there's a tough pitching matchup.''

Over the course of his career, Nix has played more middle infield than third, but he has played the corner position in the big leagues. His advantage: Nix has shown moderate power. Marte has been around for awhile now and has proven that he can handle the defensive side at third. Valbuena is a second baseman/shortstop who might help his career if he also can become reliable at third base.

In the future, the Indians will take a look at Columbus third baseman Jared Goedert, who went on a home run binge in June and July after being promoted from Akron. Goedert hit seven homers for the Aeros before being elevated to Triple-A, where he has added another 17.
However, Acta said Goedert probably won't be summoned to the big leagues until September, when rosters can be expanded to 40. He added that the club might resort to looking for a third baseman over the winter.

Travis Hafner was scratched from the lineup with soreness in his right shoulder. He is considered day-to-day. Wednesday night, he collected two hits in the 8-0 loss to the Yankees.

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