This is the time of year where aging, struggling veterans get kicked to the curb by their teams. It's already happened multiple times this week with Hideki Matsui, Derek Lowe, and Bobby Abreu. Now, two days after designating Lowe, the Indians are at it again, designating Johnny Damon for assignment.
The Indians signed Damon a month into the year and threw him into left field, where he looked done as a player. In 64 games for Cleveland this year, Damon hit just .222 with a pathetic .610 OPS. His power and speed looked completely gone after homering just four times and only stealing four bases after a total of 24 homers and 30 steals over the last two years in Detroit and Tampa Bay.
Damon had played more in the outfield this year over 64 games than he did in the last two years (and 295 games) with the Tigers and Rays, when he totaled just 352 1/3 innings in comparison to 396 this year. Who knows if that had much to do with his hitting, but if Damon couldn't play the field in 2010 and 2011…what made the Indians think he could do it this year?
I don't think Damon can provide any value whatsoever to a team anymore…yet, someone will probably pick him up as a bench bat for the stretch run. Not that I'd advise it, of course.
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