The Cleveland Indians can bolster their lineup simply by injecting farmhand Yandy Diaz into the batting order for the remainder of the year.
Yandy Diaz, you’re going to get your chance. Well, I think you’re going to get your chance. Why wouldn’t you get your chance?
All you do i h it. With 1,216 plate appearances and a slash line of .322/.419/.436, you’ve got nothing left to prove at Triple-A Columbus.
Now with Edwin Encarncacion on the DL, someone’s got to DH. The quarks of the schedule have held you back recently, as three-game interleague against the Cincinnati Reds cost you at bats.
But now its’ time, and no pressure.
All you’ve got to do is make it impossible for Terry Francona to keep you out of the lineup once rosters expand in September.
Francona is fiercely loyal and isn’t known for giving young guys a shot (see: Aguilar).
That’s why Diaz would have to ball out not just at the plate, but in the field, too.
There is no question when it comes to how Diaz fits on this roster. He plays third base. That’s it. Outfield is apparently not an option for the Cuban native.
It’s a spot currently manned by Jose Ramirez, who just so happens to be having one of the most historic seasons in franchise history. As of Aug. 14, Ramirez had posted a 7.5 WAR, the highest WAR for an Indians hitter since Jim Thome in 1996.
I’d hate to move Ramirez, which was also done last year in the postseason, but he’s more than capable of playing second base and taking over for Jason Kipnis.
Kipnis is a fan favorite, but we’re talking abut winning a World Series, here. He’s been “better” of late, batting .250 (.773 OPS) in his last 30 games, but the entire sample size of a season shows a guy batting .199 with .663 OPS.
Kipnis is truly the conundrum in all of this. Francona’s loyalty has something to do with it, but this organization isn’t known for benching guys making $13 million.
With the outfield being the mess it its, perhaps Kipnis could find a role in the outfield as he did last season.
Leonys Martin was supposed to be the center-field fix, but an unknown illness put the former Tiger in the hospital where he was fighting for his life, according to reports. The likelihood of a return this season doesn’t appear to be great.
Defensively, right field is a disaster. The Indians removed Cabrera and replaced him with Guyer during the ninth inning of the series finale against the Reds. Guyer horribly misplayed a fly ball and it almost cost the Tribe the game.
At the plate, Guyer’s batting .247 (.871 OPS) with five homers and 15 RBIs. Batting average meh, but that OPS is surprisingly high.
Cabrera’s homered twice and driven in eight runs through his last four games. He should be given more of an opportunity, even though his defense will leave a lot to be desired.
Preferably, the Tribe could move Kipnis to the outfield. Right now, Gregg Allen is the Tribe’s best defensive option in the outfield, but he’s a .240 hitter who doesn’t get on base enough (.248).
Or perhaps Kipnis could even take bats from Guyer. Despite such a lousy season for the JK Kid, he’s surprising hit lefties to the tune of a .260 average (104 at bats). Allen, a switch hitter, has also played right field.
The Indians can’t make the same mistake they made with Aguilar.
He’s not going to wow the crowd with moonshots, rather, he’ll hit singles and doubles–and you won’t care. Diaz will either be getting on base or moving runners over and the Indians will be better with him in the lineup.