Cleveland Indians’ ideal lineup to close out the 2020 season

Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Josh Naylor, Cleveland Indians
CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 07: Josh Naylor #31 of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on September 07, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

5. . . . Josh Naylor. 8. player

Left Field, Left-Handed Hitter

Normally the eighth spot in the order is given to the team’s worst hitter, contrary to popular belief that the nine spot is the worst in the lineup. The nine hole is what turns the lineup over to the top, so momentum can be key there. As for the eighth spot, not so much.

I wouldn’t go as far to say that Josh Naylor is the worst hitter in the lineup for the Indians, he just hasn’t found his stride since arriving at the deadline, still searching for his first home run with the Tribe.

Even so, when it comes to statistics, Naylor is technically the worst hitter in the lineup of those that are common starters. Going into Saturday’s contest, Naylor was slashing just .167/.194/.167 since arriving in Cleveland. His stats from San Diego are much better, but until they return to that level, this is where Naylor belongs in the lineup, if he belongs at all.

Naylor could be a candidate to be replaced in the lineup if one of the other outfielders begins to catch on, like Oscar Mercado has started to since returning from the alternate site.

If that becomes the case, then Mercado could make sense in the sixth spot with Naquin and Perez bumping down one spot each, maintaining a right-left-right alternation from the six, seven and eight spots.