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Adding B.J. Upton would give the Indians a great right-handed bat.
1. Jason Donald, 2B (.328/.405/.481 slash line, .886 OPS, .389 wOBA in 148 PA) - R
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (.301/.350/.436 slash line, .786 OPS, .343 wOBA in 663 PA) - S
3. B.J. Upton, CF (.264/.372/.428 slash line, .800 OPS, .352 wOBA in 1020 PA) - R
4. Carlos Santana, 1B (.282/.402/.480 slash line, .882 OPS, .383 wOBA in 276 PA) - S
5. Shelley Duncan, LF (.256/.328/.441 slash line, .769 OPS, .332 wOBA in 303 PA) - R
6. Travis Hafner, DH (.260/.362/.445 slash line, .807 OPS, .353 wOBA in 1312 PA) - L
7. Shin-Soo Choo, RF (.267/.345/.383 slash line, .728 OPS, .326 wOBA in 665 PA) - L
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B (.249/.323/.358 slash line, .681 OPS, .305 wOBA in 383 PA) - R
9. Lou Marson, C (.285/.367/.395 slash line, .763 OPS, .341 wOBA in 199 PA) - R
In making this lineup, I don't want to imply that Donald should always start over Kipnis at second, Duncan always start over Brantley in left, Hannahan always start over Chisenhall at third and have Marson-LaPorta-Santana always start over Santana-Pena-Hafner at catcher, first and DH respectively.
If this happened a good amount of the time, however, these platoon splits heavily favor the Indians.
This is where B.J. Upton's presence would really be felt. Adding Upton would give the Indians a much-needed right-handed bat that would really balance out their lineup.
Also, considering his plus-defense in center field makes him the biggest need of the Tribe going into 2012.
It wouldn't be a bad thing to get Marson and Hannahan's defense in the lineup as frequently as possible, and their presence as right-handed hitters on a team filled with left-handed hitters makes this the ideal situation.
Hafner is starting to fade against lefties (.233/.259/.379 slash line, .638 OPS .278 wOBA in 108 PA in 2011), but considering his career numbers, there's a chance he'll rebound.
And finally, I continue to find no place for Matt LaPorta. If the Indians are supposed to be competing in 2012, they can't afford to continue to see LaPorta waste at-bats.
Start him in AAA next year and see if he can find his groove. If he can't do it in AAA, he can't do it in the majors.