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Cleveland Indians: Does Matt LaPorta Deserve Another Shot?

GOODYEAR, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Matt LaPorta #7 of the Cleveland Indians poses for a portrait during a photo day at Goodyear Ballpark on February 28, 2012 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
Rich Pilling/Getty Images
Professor BushCorrespondent IIIJune 6, 2012

For a while at least, Matt LaPorta is back playing for the Cleveland Indians.

He was called up from Columbus when Johnny Damon went on paternity leave. So the question is: Will LaPorta stay with the team when Damon returns?  With the team struggling against left-handed pitchers, wouldn't his bat be a big help in the lineup?

LaPorta was originally drafted by the Brewers as the seventh overall pick in the 2007 draft. He then came to the Tribe in the trade involving C. C. Sabathia.  He played in over 100 games for the Indians in each of 2010 and 2011, but this year, Casey Kotchman essentially took his place on the roster.

His career average in the majors is .238, with a home run every 30 at-bats. In the minors, his career average has been .299 with a home run every 15 at-bats.

The expectation is that both Damon and Kotchman will be gone next year, so perhaps 2013 is when LaPorta would become a permanent fixture on the team. So maybe the decision will be made to place him where he can get the most playing time this season.  But will the Tribe use the Damon and Kotchman salaries during the offseason to acquire another batter instead?

LaPorta was smart enough to turn down two draft selections before 2007 so that he could get his college degree. That might have been a great career move, given his less-than-stellar performance with the Tribe.

With another win over the Tigers tonight, you all should be in a good mood to talk about the Indians. Do you think LaPorta should stay up here now? Do you think he is the Tribe's first baseman of the future?

Drop a comment and get the discussion going.

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