Cleveland Indians notes: Francisco Lindor returns, Hanley DFA’d, Prospect to watch

Cleveland Indians Fransisco Lindor (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Fransisco Lindor (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Sunday baseball notes on the Cleveland Indians: What a difference Francisco Lindor makes, Hanley being DFA’d and a stellar prospect to watch.

What a difference some proven big leaguers make for the Cleveland Indians. With the return of Francisco Lindor, the Indians finally have a credible lineup to field for the 2019 season.

Lindor was just 1-of-5, but he scored a run. It’s jute a huge relief knowing he’s there.

Lindor hit at the top of the order when he made his 2019 debut during the second-game of a traditional doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves Saturday night.

His presence slid Leonys Martin down to the No. 2 spot. The third through fifth spots were occupied by Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Carlos Gonzalez. Jason Kipnis didn’t play in Game 2, but he’s another veteran who is a dramatic upgrade over what the Tribe had been fielding.

In reality, this is still a top-heavy lineup, but rather it be top heavy than nothing heavy, which was what it was and days you saw Jake Bauers batting cleanup.

It’s a lot easier to go through the lumps with a young player such as Bauers when he’s batting in the bottom third of the lineup. Perhaps some of the pressure will be taken off him now that some of the veterans have healed.

Try again: The Indians bought a lottery ticket on Hanley Ramirez, and none of the numbers hit. In spring training, rumors surfaced indicating there was concern about Ramirez’s ability to drive the ball. His slash line, .184/.298/.327 with two home runs, would indicate he may be at the end of his career.

Ramirez wasn’t the only player, who struggled, though, he just got squeezed out in a numbers game. The Indians have Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers as first basemen. They obviously like Bauers and don’t believe he needs to be demoted. I agree with the Tribe, let’s see more.

Too soon?: Tribe fans were chanting “M-V-P, M-V-P” during Carlos Santana’s at-bat during the bottom of the sixth in the second game of the Saturday’s double-header against the Braves. Santana is the only member of the Tribe doing anything at the plate, but an MVP in April? I’ll have what they’re having.

Whatever happened to?: Gio Urshela is alive and well with the New York Yankees and now occupies the locker previously reserved for Jacoby Ellsbury, according to the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.

Ellsbury is under contract, but hasn’t played in a game with New York since the 2017 season because of injuries!

As for Urshela, nothing new there. He’s batting .250 (.732 OPS). He never had a reputation as a lumber man. His speciality was supposed to the leather. With that said, his glove work in the 2017 ALDS still haunts me.

Bonus: Rajai Davis currently holds the title of “Oldest player in the Minor Leagues.” Davis, 38, is with the Mets organization playing for Class AAA Syracuse.

One to watch: If your looking for the quickest path to the big leagues, be a reliever. There’s a 23-year-old right-hander named James Karinchak hitting 99 miles per hour on the radar gun for Double-A Akron. He’s already thrown six hitless innings, while striking out 18 of the 23 batters he’s faced.. Meanwhile, he’s walked two.

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Karinchak is no stranger to collecting promotions. He played at three levels a season before ending his season with the RubberDucks.