Boudreau to Shuffle Lineup, Sit Hegan and Doby

May 5, 1948

After starting the season with a 6-0 record, the Cleveland Indians are losers of their last three games and player/manager Lou Boudreau is doing everything in his power to change things.

“We’ve lost three games, so I’ve got to experiment with a few changes,” Boudreau said. “We have to do something to win ballgames.”

Boudreau’s first order of business will be to start ace pitcher Bob Feller and his second will be to change the lineup – something that has not been tinkered with much so far this season. Gone from the starting nine on May 5 will be both catcher Jim Hegan and outfielder Larry Doby for today’s contest in Philadelphia against the Athletics.

“I’m not benching Doby and Hegan permanently. Don’t get me wrong,” Boudreau said after Tuesday’s loss to the A’s. “They could both be back there the day after tomorrow. I don’t know yet.”

Wednesday will mark the first time all season that both Doby and Hegan are not starting. In their place, the Indians will run out outfielder Hank Edwards and rookie catcher Joe Tipton. Both Edwards and Tipton will be making their first starts of the year.

Boudreau’s reasoning is justified, especially in the case of Doby, as both regulars have struggled in some particular areas of late. Doby is struggling at the plate, going only three for his last 18 and has seen his batting average plummet to a pedestrian .256. Not only that, Doby has been a butcher in his move from the infield to the outfield, as he has made five outfield errors in his last three games.

Hegan, on the other hand, has been one of Boudreau’s most consistent bats all season with a .316 batting average on the year. What has not been there, however, is Hegan’s clutch stick, as the Indians backstop went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday.

Also moving in the Indians order is Eddie Robinson, who blasted a home run in yesterday’s ballgame and will now bat fourth, and Dale Mitchell will move up to second. The struggling Joe Gordon will move down from cleanup to sixth.

The new look Cleveland lineup that will face Philadelphia pitcher Dick Fowler looks as such:

CF Thurman Tucker
LF Dale Mitchell
SS Lou Boudreau
1B Eddie Robinson
RF Hank Edwards
2B Joe Gordon
3B Ken Keltner
C Joe Tipton
P Bob Feller

Photo: Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection

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