5 takeaways for the Cleveland Indians spring debut vs the Cincinnati Reds.
If only spring could be summer. The Cleveland Indians looked stellar in their Cactus League debut against the Cincinnati Reds Feb. 28.
If you’ve been defending the Tribe’s trades and the prospects they’ve picked up, Sunday was for your. Here’s five major storylines.
1. Lindor who? Andres Gimenez was excellent in his debut wearing a Cleveland uniform, going 2-for-2 at the dish. He drove in the Tribe’s first run with a second-inning triple. He later singled in the fifth and went from first to third on a Bo Naylor single.
Manager Terry Francona loved seeing Gimenez turn on the jets on that first hit and not just settling for a two-bagger.
It’s one game, but it’s OK to be excited. Gimenez is in a competition for the job and he should emerge as the best candidate. If there’s one thing that will cost him. roster spot, it’s a freezing cold spring. So far, he’s off to a great start.
2. The Middle: Gimenez put a feather in the cap of the development team for at least day, with the middle infield loaded with prospects who produced.
There was Gimenez’s gem of a day, and his replacement, Tyler Freeman, also had a hit and scored a run.
Gabriel Arias, the shortstop acquired in the six-player Mike Clevinger trade last summer, played second base, taking over for Yu Chang. He had two hits, drove in a run and scored another.
3. Gotta start somewhere: Cal Quantrill, now wearing No. 47, started to make his case for the fifth spot in the rotation. He threw two innings, allowed one hit and a walk while strikeout out one.
4. The name not to forget: You’ve read about him here, so it was exciting to see Sam Hentges come in for the final frame. The 6-foot-6 left-hander punched out two batters in his one innings. He’s been a starter to this point, but the bullpen could provide a faster ticket to the big leagues.
5. Slow brew: Francona wasn’t deep diving into the outfield competition on day one. He started Ernie Clement at right field. Clement is seen as a utility candidate. His ability to play the outfield certainly strengthens his case.
Former first-round pick Will Benson replaced Clement. This is a big spring for Benson. The Tribe didn’t even invite him to their alternate site last summer. He really needs to see his stock start trending in the right direction.