CLEVELAND -- It's never too late to try to switch things up in an effort to spark the offense. And given the way the Indians have performed for the past month, that is the way manager Manny Acta is viewing the situation.
"You've got to die trying, man," Acta said.
For the opener of a three-game set with the Rangers on Friday, Acta returned to a lineup alignment that worked earlier this season. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo was back in the leadoff spot, second baseman Jason Kipnis returned to the second slot and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera shifted back to third.
Choo has bounced mostly between the leadoff and third spots, whereas Kipnis has spent time in each of the first three positions. Cabrera has seen the bulk of his action in the second or third hole.
"It's been a struggle for a full month," Acta said, "so we'll change things up."
Entering Friday, Cleveland had used the Choo-Kipnis-Cabrera combination 16 times. The Indians posted a 9-7 record in those games, with 4.1 runs scored per game and a .256 team average. In all other games, the Tribe was 46-69 with 4.1 runs per game and a .248 average.
In 70 games as the No. 1 hitter earlier this season, Choo hit .310 with a .910 OPS. Kipnis hit .263 in 38 previous games as the No. 2 man, compared with a .202 mark in 22 games at the top of the order. Cabrera has hit .299 with an .847 OPS as the third hitter and .261/.729 OPS in the second spot.
Kipnis, who most recently served as the leadoff man, did not mind the switch.
"It doesn't really matter to me," Kipnis said. "I'm able to move a guy over, bunt or whatever it entails [in the second spot]. But there's no major preference for where I hit. I still approached my at-bats the same way in the leadoff spot."