The Real Matt Lawton?

Other than the first couple weeks of the 2002 season, I haven’t seen Lawton like this in an Indians uniform. He’s always had the eye at the plate, but the fact that he’s hitting for power now really is encouraging. He’s sort of a nontraditional leadoff hitter, but frankly how many “traditional” leadoff men are in the game now? If Matt can turn back the clock and become Lawton v. 2000, this offense will get a boost. Of course, then he becomes tradable as well.

Here’s how the regulars are hitting so far:

Lawton .321 .373 .585
Vizquel .296 .356 .370
Gerut .298 .385 .474
Blake .294 .385 .392
Hafner .349 .408 .721
Martinez .206 .279 .436
Broussard .350 .480 .500
Escobar .200 .263 .229
Belliard .423 .423 .519

Obviously these numbers will not continue to hold, but this is definitely encouraging considering that the offense was expected to be a weakness this year. This lineup is murder on right-handed pitching, but we all saw what happened when the Tigers started southpaw Mike Maroth. The most missed player on the team is probably Ryan Ludwick, as he was expected to play some first this year. Regardless, this team is definitely not a finished product, but we’re really beginning to see the strengths and weaknesses of this team, and that’s what this season is all about. If the process proceeds as planned, the weaknesses will be addressed this offseason.

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