Melvin believes in Sweeney's potential

Melvin believes in Sweeney's potential

CLEVELAND -- Coco Crisp received a scheduled day off on Wednesday, lending manager Bob Melvin the chance to play Ryan Sweeney, who could potentially start again on Thursday in one of the corner outfield spots.

"I was thinking about giving Coco a day off in New York, and then he went 4-for-4 that night, so he changed my mind," Melvin said, smiling.

But Crisp had collected just eight hits combined in the other 15 games he started after missing six contests with a strained right calf. He also hasn't stolen a base since the injury, but still ranks second in the American League with a career-high 37 for the season.

Sweeney entered Wednesday facing similar struggles, though his can be linked to inconsistent playing time. He came into Wednesday's contest with just 45 at-bats in the month of August, over which he tallied nine hits.

Still, Melvin believes that, given the right circumstances, Sweeney "does have the ability to be an everyday player."

"When you bring in Crisp, [Josh] Willingham, [Hideki] Matsui and [David] DeJesus, I think he knew going into the season that the role would be different for him this year," Melvin said. "The difficult part is you accept the fact that you're not an everyday player, and consider yourself a role player. But you still have aspirations to be an everyday player. That's difficult, so this has been a tough year for him."