NEW YORK -- Indians manager Manny Acta felt that Wednesday was an opportune time to give right fielder Shin-Soo Choo a well-deserved day off from being in the starting lineup.
The Yankees had left-hander Andy Pettitte on the hill and the Indians are currently in a stretch of 17 consecutive games leading up to the All-Star break. Acta tries to find certain games throughout a season to keep his key players fresh.
"It's a scheduled day off," Acta said. "We're going to have a lot of games in a row. Left-handed pitching. Day game. He needs it."
Without Choo in the lineup as the Indians' leadoff man -- a role he has embraced this season -- center fielder Michael Brantley slid into the lineup's top spot. Backup outfielder Aaron Cunningham took over in right field. Choo entered Wednesday's 5-4 loss in the sixth inning and drew a walk in the ninth inning in his lone plate appearance.
Through 68 games, Choo has hit .275 with six home runs, 24 doubles and 24 RBIs. Through 39 games as the lineup's tablesetter, the right fielder has hit at a .301 clip with a .363 on-base percentage.
Choo's main issue this season has been against left-handed pitchers, who have held him to a .188 (16-for-85) showing, with no homers and just two RBIs. Against righties, Choo has hit .317 (57-for-180), with six homers and 22 RBIs.
"He's done a nice job," Acta said. "The main thing for him is being on the field. If he's on the field, his numbers are going to be there. ... He has scuffled a little bit against lefties this year, but he's always hung in there and done decent against them. So I'm expecting that to improve, too."