More attention needs to be focused on the Cleveland Indians’ outfield situation.
The Cleveland Indians are filled with reliable talent almost everywhere on their roster. One area that is not completely the case is in their outfield. In fact, more questions than answers may currently reside with that part of the roster.
First off, there’s the uncertainty of left fielder Michael Brantley. Yes, he’s recovering nicely, but can he come back as the same player both the team and fans are used to seeing? Center fielders Abraham Almonte and Tyler Naquin are solid, but both players have a lot to work on.
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In right field, the Tribe has Lonnie Chisenhall. I did not expect him to play as well as he did transitioning to a new position on a full-time basis. Although,the arrow is up in terms of progress and potential, can Chisenhall continue to improve?
There’s also Brandon Guyer who can play all three spots, but believing that he can play regularly should not happen. His skill set is solid, but overall he is not that great of a player.
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While Cleveland is negotiating with 1B/DH type players like Mike Napoli and Edwin Encarnacion, the franchise must jump on an opportunity to improve their outfield. In general, the Indians have a solid outfield, but I am not excited about that area on the roster. Nothing jumps out to give me optimism.
Minor league outfielder Bradley Zimmer is not ready to play in the majors. Even if he was, I would not feel any differently. Cleveland is eventually going to land 1B/DH help.
Regardless of who that is however, the Tribe must do what they can to keep every option open. That way, the Indians can figure out how a specific upgrade can help the team both in the short and long-term.
Now, 1B/DH/OF Mark Trumbo is an intriguing player, but he is best suited to not play regularly in the outfield. Cleveland got lucky with how well Davis played last season. Should he return, they must understand the same level of player in 2017 is no guarantee.
Had the Indians changed their approach to acquiring talent, the outfield would not be in the situation it is in. Cleveland could make a trade in the coming weeks rather than waiting on what options they are left with.
Such trade options include Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez (assuming Colorado pays a good part of his contract), and Atlanta Braves’ Ender Inciarte. However Cleveland goes about adding to their outfield one thing is clear: All three spots are worth considering for an upgrade and an addition(s) should be added soon.