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Francona: Reynolds' slump not due to position shift

Francona: Reynolds' slump not due to position shift

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NEW YORK -- Indians manager Terry Francona does not believe there is any correlation between Mark Reynolds' recent slump in the batter's box and his move to third base on the field.

Reynolds shifted to third base last month after Cleveland sent third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A Columbus on May 13. That was around the same time that Reynolds' performance at the plate began to decline after his torrid April.

Francona checked with Reynolds to make sure the demands of handling the hot corner were not affecting the slugger's plate appearances.

"I asked him that, because I wanted to know," Francona said on Wednesday. "I do think it's more physically challenging. I think he's enjoying the heck out of it, and he told me if he needed a [day off], he'd tell me."

Reynolds was batting .247 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs through 56 games, entering Wednesday's game with the Yankees. Since Chisenhall was sent down to Triple-A, though, Reynolds had hit just .182 (14-for-77) with two home runs, nine RBIs and 26 strikeouts through 22 games.

With Columbus, Chisenhall has hit at a .382 clip with six home runs and 18 RBIs through 17 games, posting a .469 on-base percentage and a .721 slugging percentage. In his last 10 games, heading into Wednesday's action, the young third baseman had hit .500 (19-for-38) with four homers and 12 RBIs for the Clippers.

Francona said the Indians have not discussed potentially promoting Chisenhall back to the Majors lately. He noted that general manager Chris Antonetti and his staff have been busy preparing for Thursday's First-Year Player Draft and that carrying backup shortstop Juan Diaz -- with All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera on the disabled list with a right quad injury -- was a higher priority right now.

"To be honest with you, not this week," Francona said. "It's not that we don't talk about Lonnie, but not this week."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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