Choo shining in role as Indians' leading man

Choo shining in role as Indians' leading man

CLEVELAND -- Shin-Soo Choo is tired of being asked how moving to the leadoff spot in the batting order has caused him to hit better.

He doesn't believe the switch is the reason why his batting average has improved approximately 40 points since moving up. The way he sees it, he was beginning to hit better before the change was made.

"The first four or five weeks, I missed a lot of fastballs," Choo said. "In the big leagues, if you miss fastballs, you can't play here. You have to hit a fastball. Now I'm swinging to make contact -- ground ball, fly ball, whatever."

Whether the move and Choo's hot hitting are related, it's clear he is comfortable in the leadoff spot. He's has five walks, a home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases since manager Manny Acta moved him on May 14 against the Twins, and he led off Thursday's game with a 454-foot homer off Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

Entering Thursday, the Indians were 7-2 since the lineup change, and Acta has no plans to move Choo out of the leadoff spot any time soon.

"If it ain't broke, why fix it?" Acta said. "He's doing well, we're doing well. It's the best thing for us now. Why try to experiment with someone else?"