Duncan back with improved swing

Duncan back with improved swing

Duncan back with improved swing
SAN FRANCISCO -- Playing on an everyday basis for Triple-A Columbus, Shelley Duncan was able to sort through some mechanical flaws in his swing and approach at the plate. He is ready to put the changes to the test for Cleveland.

On Friday, the Indians officially recalled Duncan from Columbus, one day after optioning outfielder Travis Buck to Triple-A. Duncan provides the Tribe with a skilled pinch-hitter off the bench as well as an option against left-handed pitching.

Duncan, sent down to Columbus on June 8, feels the stint in the Minors helped.

"I was able to make some adjustments that I needed to do," Duncan said prior to Friday's game against the Giants. "I was getting out of a lot of bad habits that you tend to get in when you don't play a lot or you're just facing lefties. I got my swing to a spot where I'm happy with it."

Indians manager Manny Acta noted that the Tribe is scheduled to face a handful of left-handed starters throughout its nine-game road trip through three Interleague cities. Acta did not rule out giving Duncan a start or two at first base, especially considering the designated-hitter role is unavailable.

Otherwise, Duncan will be used as the team's main right-handed pinch-hitter.

"We didn't feel we were going to be using Buck as much [on this road trip]," Acta said. "Shelley comes in handy."

Duncan is 4-for-7 with two doubles and seven RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season. Over the past two years with the Indians, he has hit .357 (10-for-28) with one homer and 12 RBIs in that role. In 29 games with Cleveland this season, Duncan has hit .222 (18-for-81) with two homers, six doubles and 17 RBIs.