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Indians substitutes did even better than starters in 2013

A look at the 2013 production by players coming off the bench for the Indians

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians had better lineup depth in 2013 than they've had in a while, a more flexible collection of players that allowed manager Terry Francona to play matchups, take advantage of platoon splits, and also make late-game switches that didn't involve sub-replacement-level players.

Pinch hitters, and other players who entered the game as a defensive replacement or pinch runner but later batted, posted a batting line of .255/.346/.454 for the Indians in 2013, compared to a line of .255/.326/.409 for starters, making Cleveland one of just 3 teams in baseball with a higher OPS from substitutes than from starters (the Mariners and Red Sox were the other two). The American League average from non-starters was .217/.299/.349. The Indians' .346 OBP from substitutes was the best in baseball, and their .800 OPS was 2nd only to Seattle.

Here's a look at those players who subbed for the Tribe most-frequently in 2013, along with the production of the team's key players in those rare instances when they came off the bench instead of starting:

Mike Aviles easily led the team by coming into 38 games after they'd begun. In 38 PA, he posted a line of .333/.351/.611. His 12 hits, 9 runs, and RBI all led Tribe subs, and his 3 HR tied for the team lead.

Drew Stubbs entered 22 games, but was used as a defensive replacement or pinch runner more than as a pinch hitter, and had just 10 PA. His line was just .222/.222/.222, but he led the team with 3 stolen bases as a sub.

Ryan Raburn entered 19 games, but did not fair well in 24 plate appearances (2nd-most on the team), hitting just 1.58/.292/.316. His 4 walks led the team though, and he had 1 of the 8 Tribe home runs that came from substitutes.

Matt Carson also entered 19 games, but got only 9 PA. As you may recall, he made excellent use of them, with a .500/.556/.500 line that included an 11th-inning walk-off single on September 19th.

Jason Giambi entered 17 games, each time as a pinch hitter. He had just 3 hits in those 17 PA (along with 2 walks and a HBP), but all 3 of them were home runs, one of which tied a game in the 8th, while the other two were 9th inning game winners.

Lonnie Chisenhall was the only other Indian with more than 7 PA as a sub. He had 10 of them, with 3 hits, including a home run.

Asdrubal Cabrera went 1 for 5.

Yan Gomes went 2 for 5 with 2 walks.

Michael Brantley went 1 for 5 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases.

Michael Bourn went 2 for 5 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.

Nick Swisher grounded out on August 4, his only appearance as a sub all year.

Jason Kipnis went 0 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base.

Carlos Santana pinch hit twice, and drew a 9th-inning walk both times.

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