Lonnie Chisenhall has been recalled to the Indians in time for tonight’s game and will start and bat in the 7th spot in the order. Heralded as the Tribe’s third baseman of the future and pegged to start there this year, Chisenhall struggled to start the year and was sent down to Columbus on May 13th. Since his demotion Lonnie has batted .390 with 6 homeruns and 26 RBIs in 27 games. The Indians demoted Matt Langwell to make room for the third baseman.
Since Chisenhall was sent down Mark Reynolds has assumed regular duties at first base, with utility man Mike Aviles take a few turns until Asdrubel Cabrerra went down with an injury. Aviles has taken over full time at shortstop and John McDonald was recently acquired in a trade to provide some depth for the infield, as well as a veteran presence. McDonald has not been known for his bat and last night failed to bring home the game tying run in the bottom of the 9th, which may have prompted Chisenhall’s return. With Nick Swisher struggling through injury the Tribe has to hope Chisenhall can take over at third, moving Reynolds back to first on a more regular basis.
While Lonnie has been seen as a core player for the team, his performance in the majors has been less then stellar. In his career Chisenhall has played in 135 games with a .250 average, 15 HRs, 49 RBIs and a 692 OPS. This call up will not be a make or break for Chisenhall’s Indians career but it is another opportunity for him to prove he belongs. His current career arc bring back memories of another solid infield prospect that never panned out for the Tribe, Brandon Philips. Philips struggled early in his major league career and was later traded to the Cincinnati Reds and has starred every since. While there are no reports that Chisenhall has the reported attitude issues that Philips had in Cleveland, his budding talent, good minor league statistics but limited MLB success are similar. The Indians can only hope that Chisenhall’s stardom comes in their uniform, and maybe that it starts tonight.