CLEVELAND — Matt LaPorta’s trial run has come to an end.
The 25-year-old first baseman/ outfielder, who has struggled for most of the season, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Monday to clear room for Andy Marte.
Marte was activated from the disabled list, where he has been since May 15 with a nonbaseball related injury.
LaPorta, the key component in the CC Sabathia trade with Milwaukee in 2008, hit just .218 with one home run and seven RBIs in 35 games for the Indians. He had been losing playing time to left fielder Austin Kearns and first baseman Russell Branyan.
“We just don’t think there are enough at-bats for him,” Acta said of LaPorta, who struck out 25 times in 119 at-bats. “It’s not fair to the kid. I think we did give him enough at-bats, but we feel like he should be down there playing every day.
“Everybody wants to win and develop at the same time, but whether you are developing or not, you still want to put the best team on the field. Yes, you can (develop and still win). You just can’t develop 25 guys at the same time.”
Acta said LaPorta would play both first base and left field in Columbus, but that the Indians would continue to develop him more at first.
Marte is expected to return to his role as a backup at first and third. He entered Monday batting .208 with a homer and seven RBIs in 15 games.
Sipp slidin’ away?
Acta isn’t concerned with the recent struggles of reliever Tony Sipp, who endured a disastrous road trip that saw the left-hander allow 12 earned runs in four outings that covered only 1 1 / 3 innings.
“I think it’s just one of those periods,” Acta said. “He’s still a guy we trust. He just had a very tough road trip. We’ll continue to throw him out there and hope that he gets back into that rhythm he had before.”
Sipp didn’t allow an earned run in 15 consecutive outings before the recent slide that raised his ERA from 1.40 to 6.53 through Sunday.
- Columbus right-hander Yohan Pino tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed only two hits in a 5-1 victory over Indianapolis on Sunday. Pino, the player to be named in the Carl Pavano trade with Minnesota last year, leads the Clippers with a 6-2 record (4.12 ERA) in 11 starts.
- ◾LHP Nick Hagadone got his first Double-A victory Sunday, allowing four hits and a walk over five innings of Akron’s 3-0 shutout of Harrisburg. Over 12 starts between advanced Class A Kinston (9) and Akron, Hagadone, who was acquired in the Victor Martinez trade with Boston last year, is 2-3 with a 2.51 ERA. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in 10 of his starts and has struck out at least five in seven of them.
- Mitch Talbot, who leads all major league rookies with seven wins, is 3-0 against the White Sox. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Talbot is the first rookie pitcher to beat Chicago three times in one season since Sabathia did it with Cleveland in 2001.
- Shin-Soo Choo entered Monday ranked eighth in the American League with 32 walks.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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