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Michael Bourn moved to ninth spot in the lineup on Sunday

Cleveland Indians Michael Brantley

For the first time since being signed by the Cleveland Indians, Michael Bourn will start a game lower in the lineup instead of the leadoff spot. Instead of batting first, Terry Francona has decided to drop him to the bottom of the order and bat him ninth versus Detroit. Bourn understood the decision saying, “Sometimes you just catch yourself in a funk.” He noted, “It’s gonna be weird. I hope I don’t go put on my helmet at the beginning of the game. I’d be embarrassed.”

Since signing a four-year, $48 million deal with the Indians in February of 2013, Bourn has been a disappointment and has not lived up to expectations. When Chris Antonetti surprised many and signed Nick Swisher and Bourn to big-time deals before the 2013 season, many believed that it was a turning point for Cleveland. Unfortunately, they have both been major disappointments since dawning the block “C”. Currently in his third season with Cleveland, Bourn has batted just .255, with nine home runs, 79 RBIs, 138 runs, 34 stolen bases (has been caught stealing 20 times) and has struck out 262 times.

Bourn has had eight at-bats in the fifth, sixth, and ninth spots in the order for the Indians but they were all because he was subbed in as a defensive replacement during the game.

Hopefully a change like this, where a lot of pressure will be taken off Bourn’s shoulders since he will be batting last, will be a good change for him and he will start to turn it around at the plate. If the Indians want to meet expectations and make the playoffs in 2015, they will not only need Bourn’s bat, but will also need his (fast) legs on the bases. Here’s to hoping the change made by Francona is a positive one for Cleveland.