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Acta preaches patience to Duncan

By Jordan Bastian /

Sunday, April 29, 2012 12:42 PM ET

Shelley Duncan 040512 CLEVELAND -- The patience and power displayed by Shelley Duncan early this season has seemingly disappeared of late, leading to a rough slump for the Indians outfielder. Indians manager Manny Acta indicated that Duncan has been chasing pitches out of the strike zone.

"Just a week or so ago, he was laying off some of those pitches," Acta said. "That is the key for him. He was walking a lot. The last few games, he has gotten a little bit over-aggressive and chasing pitches out of the zone and expanding."

After going 0-for-3 with an RBI on Sunday against the Angels, Duncan is hitting .147 (5-for-34) with a .231 on-base percentage in his last 10 games. During that rough patch, the left fielder amassed 16 strikeouts compared to only three walks with no home runs.

In his first nine games of the season, Duncan hit .333 (9-for-27) with a .514 on-base percentage, which was largely the result of 10 walks drawn in that span. In that early nine-game stretch, the outfielder launched two home runs and struck out six times.

Since April 17, when the Indians signed veteran outfielder Johnny Damon, Duncan has seen his season average and on-base percentage decline to .241 and .375, respectively. Damon is currently training at the team's site in Arizona and could possibly join Cleveland's big league roster at some point within the next two weeks.

When Damon does join the Tribe, he would likely garner most of his playing time in left field.

As for Duncan, Acta hopes to see him return to his early-season approach.

"Hey, if they don't pitch to you, just walk," Acta said. "That's what he was doing good earlier."