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Cleveland Indians

Tribe offense needs boost

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 28, 2012

MESA, Ariz.: The Indians' offense has lagged all spring.

Statistically, it ranks near the bottom of the American League in hits, runs, home runs and batting average. Spring training games don't count, but we've seen this during the regular season of 2011.

Last year, injuries to Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner and Michael Brantley depressed the attack. This year, except for Sizemore, these players are healthy, and manager Manny Acta is expecting more.

"I think the fact that we've added a piece or two will help,'' Acta said, referring to Casey Kotchman, Jason Kipnis (who made his big-league debut last July 22) and probably Shelley Dunxcan, who will likely be the regular in left field.

"For our offense to take it to the next level, we need every guy to stay healthy and to produce,'' Acta said. "If the guys in the middle of our order stay healthy, I think we have enough offense.'' 

By the middle of the lineup, Acta meant Choo, Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner, who three, four and five plus Asdrubal Cabrera, who hits in the second spot.

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