Now that all the recycled info is out of the way, a question arises over where Damon will play. Because of the provision in his contract giving him an out based on playing time (with Sizemore returning), it is obvious that the Indians signed Damon to play almost everyday. At least he will be expected to be the left hand hitting part of a platoon, which obviously gets the majority of the plate appearances. Damon's days of being an everyday outfielder are probably behind him. The Indians have Travis Hafner as their full time DH. Damon has essentially been a DH the past two seasons. Piecing this puzzle together, it is most likely Damon will see time in left field, splitting time with Shelly Duncan, who is one of the only Indians hitting the ball well right now (5-17, 1 HR, 2 RBI).
Hafner is 4-15, 1 HR, 4 RBI, but CF Michael Brantley is just 1-17 to start the season. Shin-Soo Choo is 3-18 and 1B Casey Kotchman is just 2-21. Hafner is less of an option to play the field than Damon, as he has played 1B for just 72 games in his entire career, which started in 2002. He hasn't played 1B since 2007, when he played 11 games for the Indians. Though Hafner is a feared power hitter, he has had issues staying healthy over the past 4 years. After playing in just 57 games in 2008, he was held to 94 games in 2009, 118 in 2010 and 94 last year. So, Damon would be the fill-in at DH if Hafner cannot play.
As some people have complained that Damon cannot play the field, it is something that looks like it will happen with the Indians. He will be the regular in LF, with Duncan playing against some righthanders and spotting him for defense late in games. Hopefully he has his glove ready. The Indians are struggling offensively and will benefit from Damon's bat. Is this a panic move? Cleveland expects to be competitive this season and their start is a bit of a concern. Would the Indians have made this move if they started 4-1? Probably not. Last year, Damon played in 150 games for the Rays, hitting .261, 16. 73 and in 2010 with the Tigers, hit .271, 8, 51 in 145 games. He will get his 150 hits and is certainly a clutch player. The Indians made a good move here, regardless of anybody's fears of Johnny Damon playing the outfield.