1. Oscar Mercado
Bradley Zimmer is really pressing Oscar Mercado for the starting center field job. He’s batting .238 (5-of-21) with a pair of doubles.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto doesn’t believe that’s terrible, but noted how Mercado is struggling to hit breaking pitches, and particularly, swinging at those pitches out of the strike of the zone.
Zimmer, meanwhile, is batting .350 (7-for-20). All reports indicate that he is healthy, which hasn’t been able to be said about the former top prospect.
Amed Rosario struggled in his first start in center field, and that’s OK. He’s unlikely to be the Opening Day starter, as the Indians believe he’ll need more time, according to Pluto.
That leaves Zimmer pushing Mercado for the job and it’s not looking good for Mercado, who was given the job coming out of Summer Camp in the weird, truncated, 2020 campaign.
Mercado has options remaining and the Indians have been trying to figure out for the past four years whether Zimmer can play. The way it stands right now, his nice start might earn him the job. Keeping it is another question.