- Associated Press - Monday, June 27, 2011

PHOENIX (AP) - The Cleveland Indians have promoted top minor league prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, hoping he can help spark the team’s stagnant offense.

The 22-year-old third baseman was batting seventh against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night in his major league debut.

To make room for Chisenhall, the club designated infielder Adam Everett for assignment.

Chisenhall, a left-handed hitter, batted .265 with 14 doubles, seven homers and 44 RBIs in 65 games for Triple-A Columbus. He’s hitting .303 with runners on base and .360 with runners in scoring position.


“He has the ability to be a very good hitter at this level,” manager Manny Acta said before the game. “I mean, a good player overall. You don’t get picked in the first round just by having a cool name.”

The Indians scored just four runs while being swept in three straight games over the weekend in San Francisco. Cleveland has scored one run or less in nine games this month.

Acta said Chisenhall will be the everyday third baseman, except against the occasional “tough lefty.” He moves into the lineup in place of Jack Hannahan, who was hitting .183 in his last 32 games and was mired in a 1-for-23 slump.

Acta cautioned that Chisenhall is “not a finished product by all means.”

“He’s still a guy who’s going to come over here and go through the learning process,” the manager said, “but we felt it was the right time for him to start making the transition. Obviously the fact that our offense right now is in a little funk … we feel like he is a guy who can give us a little help there.”

Acta doesn’t want the youngster to put too much pressure on himself.

“Hopefully he can come here and understand what we’ve talked to him about,” Acta said, “that he’s not here to be the messiah, the savior to carry this ballclub on his shoulder, just be himself and play third base and have some fun.”

Selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2008 draft out of Pitt, N.C., Junior College, Chisenhall said he was “shocked _ as in excited” when he got the call telling him he was being called up to the big club.

“I tried to go to sleep,” he said, “but I just couldn’t. I didn’t sleep last night or today. I’ll sleep tonight, maybe.”

Chisenhall took an early flight from Columbus and was in his Phoenix hotel room by 9:15 a.m. on Monday.

“I’m just going to try to come up here and get hits,” he said. “Hopefully they’re timely hits and they put our team in a good position to win. I’m not going to try to do too much. Manny told me not to worry about trying to take the team on my back and do very much. You know, I’m hitting seventh, so there’s not very much pressure on me as far as being the focus of the lineup.”

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