CLEVELAND (AP)—The Cleveland Indians plan to cut Jason Michaels, one of several veterans with batting averages hovering around .200.

The Indians, batting just .242 as a team, will designate Michaels for assignment and recall outfielder Ben Francisco from Triple-A Buffalo before Tuesday’s start of a three-game series at the New York Yankees. Once they make the move, the Indians will have 10 days to trade Michaels, release him or assign him outright to the minor leagues if he clears waivers.

Following Sunday’s loss to Kansas City, manager Eric Wedge promised the Indians would “do everything we possibly can to make the adjustments that we need to make.” He already tweaked his lineup numerous times and benched players hoping to spark Cleveland’s snoring bats

Pulling Michaels from a left-field platoon is general manager Mark Shapiro’s first move as he tries to spark the defending AL Central champions, off to a 14-17 start.

“This one transaction is not going to solve all our offensive woes,” Shapiro said Monday. “Jason Michaels was certainly not the primary cause. We just feel it’s time for us, where we can, to start to make some small moves that might help. But the answers to our offensive issues lie within.

“When you have five to seven guys up and down your lineup struggling, you are not able to make one move or two moves to solve those problems.”

Michaels is batting .207 with nine RBIs in a lineup that also includes Asdrubal Cabrera (.191), Casey Blake (.202), Travis Hafner (.209) and Jhonny Peralta (.216). Ryan Garko (.242) recently snapped an 0-for-25 slide.

The only dependable hitter in Cleveland’s lineup has been Victor Martinez, who is leading the AL with a .347 average. But even Martinez, the Indians’ All-Star catcher and cleanup hitter, hasn’t hit a home run and 27 of his 33 hits have been singles.

The Indians’ average is 13th in the AL, better only than the Chicago White Sox (.232).

Francisco was up with the Indians earlier this year. He hit .274 in 25 games for Cleveland last season, and won the International League batting title in Buffalo, batting .318 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs. Before being optioned in spring training, the 26-year-old was one of Cleveland’s more dynamic offensive threats.

“He gives Eric the ability to keep (David) Dellucci strong and healthy and protect Franklin Gutierrez as well,” Shapiro said. “He’s a good complement to our outfield, as it exists right now.”
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Why would they cut Jason, he's just had some "bad luck"

Cav