Francisco Lindor has been the Indians’ leadoff hitter for the past two seasons. For the most part, the fit has been a good one for not only Lindor but the Indians as well. However, since Oscar Mercado has joined this young Indians team, something tells me he should be the guy leading off for the Indians, not Lindor. Let me explain.
Mercado’s production since joining the Indians has been through the roof, so it couldn’t be a more perfect time to make a slight adjustment to the batting lineup. If the Indians would simply switch Lindor and Mercado in the batting order, it could possibly elevate the offense’s run totals.
Lindor is known to drive in runs, which is why having him bat leadoff doesn’t make much sense. Lindor is a valuable hitter in this offense, so why not put him in a better position to do what Lindor does best and put runs on the board for the Tribe? As good of a hitter Mercado has been, he is not as much of a power hitter like Lindor. Mercado often ends up with singles and doubles, which is perfect for a leadoff hitter. By Mercado batting lead-off and Lindor batting second, it gives Lindor more chances to drive in more runs.
Lindor’s RBI numbers are down compared to this time last season. Part of it has to do with Lindor’s injury before the start of the season. So, what’s a good way to give him more opportunities to drive in runs? Slide him down to second or third in the line-up. We’ve seen how well it’s worked for Santana batting third in the lineup, as he currently leads the team with 54 RBI’s.
The Indians are sitting in a very nice position right now, as the Tribe are just three games behind the Minnesota Twins in the A.L. Central division. The bats have been as hot as the weather, so making the change could scare some fans. However, the move could potentially help both individuals and the team as well. As Mercado’s confidence keeps rising, it could be the perfect time to make the change, so the Indians need to consider this switch for future games and even into next season and beyond.