Cleveland Indians: Oscar Mercado is here, so play him

Cleveland Indians Oscar Mercado(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Oscar Mercado(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians keep chugging along, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games, but holding onto the second Wild Card spot entering May 18.

Oscar Mercado is finally here…but will Terry Francona play him? After being promoted May 14, Mercado made just his second start May 18 against the Baltimore Orioles. He batted ninth in Terry Francona’s lineup.

The kid better play. Wasn’t the reason to keep him in the minors was so Mercado could get every-day at bats?

It was surprising the Indians promoted him considering he cooled off a bit following a hot April start.

He was still batting .294 at the time of his promotion, which makes him a Silver Slugger on the current club.

Who knows what the club will do with him, because as Paul Hoynes alluded to his his “Hey, Hoynsie” column, it doesn’t sound like Mercado is here for the “long haul.”

Mercado collected his first MLB hit Saturday, a double.

1. Following Jordan Luplow‘s demotion last month, the 25-year-old went to Class AAA and hit like he was Ted Freakin’ Williams, batting .353 in nine games.

He was brought back up, ahead of Mercado at a the time,, largely because the Indians are desperate for right-handed hitting.

The former Pirates’ prospect his holding his own, batting .306 in May.

Luplow was batting clean-up in Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. A guy who was already demoted this season is batting cleanup. That says everything you need to know about the Tribe’s offense.

He was up to the challenge, hitting a go-ahead homer against the O’s.

2. You can officially put Carlos Gonzalez on the clock. The Indians thought it would take CarGO, who missed most of Spring Training, 100 at bats to be truly ready for big-league pitching, according to’s Terry Pluto.

3. Saw a comment about Jason Kipnis not being suited for the second spot in the lineup. He’s batting .267 (.864 OPS) through 45 at-bats in the No. 2 hole, compared to .214 in 28 at-bats batting sixth.  There’s always No. 7, too, where he’s 0-11.

4. Rough May for Carlos Santana, who entered May 18 batting .200 for the month. At .294 for the season, he’s one of the club’s best hitters.

Santana, a switch hitter, is enjoying a lot more success against lefties, batting .375. He has a .236 average against righties, but four of his five homers have come as a left-handed hitter.

5. Not a surprise to see Neil Ramirez designated for assignment. The Indians just like A.J. Cole better right now and Ramirez was prone to giving up home runs. He had already surrounded five long balls in just 16.2 innings.

6. SI’s Tom Verducci looked at some disturbing trends in baseball. All have to do with the game being in a full-blown boom-or-bust model, where strikeouts are at an all-time high, just as home runs are, too.

I’m in agreement. Baseball needs action. Try taking your six-year-old to a ball game and nothing happens. Minutes are an eternity as little ones beg to go buy another soft pretzel.

Next. NBA mock draft: Cavs surprise with 5th pick. dark

Taking my little ones to minor league games has served up more entertainment lately, because at least stuff happens. The shift isn’t deployed on every single batter and guys, especially more so in the low minors, aren’t trying to hit every ball out of the mark, mostly because they’re unable to do it, yet.