Mark Duncan/Associated Press
Lonnie Chisenhall got passed over as the starting third baseman when the team broke camp this spring. The 25-year-old had an outstanding spring, slashing .306/.386/.532 with three home runs, a double, two triples, nine RBI and 11 runs scored.
Chisenhall has kept up his torrid pace through the start of the regular season. After 19 games, the North Carolina native boasts a strong .355/.412/.468 slash line with seven doubles, two RBI, nine runs scored and two stolen bases.
Although his strikeout rate is trending at 20.3 percent, his line-drive rate (27 percent) and GB/FB rate (0.37) represent substantial improvement over his 2013 and career marks in the categories.
Chisenhall's .458 BABIP suggests that he's in for some regression over the course of the season, but he's making consistently solid contact—a trait he hasn't always displayed in the past.
Meanwhile, the team's first base, third base and DH situations are very much a mess.
Carlos Santana, who has spent the bulk of his time at third base, has struggled to get things going. Over 115 at-bats, the 28-year-old owns a .130/.298/.278 slash line with four home runs, four doubles, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored.
Santana has shown impressive plate discipline, however, logging a 28:26 K/BB ratio.
At first base, Nick Swisher has been equally disappointing, slashing .203/.294/.322 with two home runs, nine doubles, 13 RBI and a 22.3 strikeout rate.
The team has used a multitude of players at the DH position, but the results have been underwhelming. In 125 at-bats, Indians designated hitters carry a paltry .209/.298/.300 slash line with six extra-base hits, nine RBI and a 27:12 K/BB ratio.
Chisenhall has been streaky in the past. While it remains to be seen whether he can actualize his once-lofty potential, something needs to change in the team's lineup, and the former top prospect looks like the solution.