Some question marks surrounding the Cleveland Indians outfield may be answered as Franmil Reyes is quietly holding down right field.
Cleveland Indians slugger Franmil Reyes is quietly playing the outfield 2,000 miles away in the desert of Goodyear, Ariz., and there isn’t much to report on his defensive prowess.
No news may be good news, at least in the eyes of Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes, who predicted Reyes will start in right field on Opening Day March 26.
Reyes has started three games in right, and one in left. Hoynes reasoned that there isn’t any negativity surrounding the innings Reyes has logged, so all must be well. The longtime scribe ended his most recent “Hey, Hoynsie” column by writing he wouldn’t be surprised if Reyes is the Tribe’s Opening Day right fielder.
If Reyes is able to secure right field, life gets a lot easier for the Indians and the conglomeration of players they have vying for an outfield job. Reyes, along with Oscar Mercado, would give Terry Francona two everyday outfielders, while Jordan Luplow can be penciled in to start against lefties.
Additionally, Reyes the right fielder opens up opportunities at DH. The Indians recently signed Domingo Santana, and while his spring has been unspectacular to date, it’s still way too early to make any judgements. In 20 plate appearances, Santana is batting .150 with nine strikeouts.
The door may also be open for Bobby Bradley, who is finally hitting in Goodyear after struggling the previous two seasons. Through 21 plate appearances, Bradley is batting .350 with a 1.081 OPS and two home runs.
There’s still a lot of baseball left to log this spring, so I’ll remain cautiously optimistic regarding Reyes because the truth is he was bad for the Padres a season ago. According to the DRS stat, Reyes cost the Padres 12 runs in 2019, before he was traded to the Tribe.