While it’s not finalized and things could still change, the roundabout of it all is that the Cleveland Indians have all but declared their Opening Day roster complete. MLB’s Mandy Bell has been following the Indians all spring training and has put together the list of guys.
"Catcher – Roberto Perez, Austin HodgeFirst Base – Jake BauersSecond Base – Cezar HernandezShortstop – Andres GimenzDesignated Hitter -Franmil ReyesUtility – Yu ChangOutfield – Eddie Rosario, Josh Naylor, Jordan Luplow, Amed Rosario, Ben GamelRotation – Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale, Logan Allen, Triston McKenzieBullpen – James Karinchak, Emmanuel Clase, Nick Wittgren, Phil Maton, Oliver Pérez, Cal Quantrill, Bryan Shaw, Trevor Stephan"
As you can see from the list below, it all looks pretty predictable, though some positions were up for grabs. Austin Hodge took the back-up catcher spot, a position he was acquired for last year as part of the Mike Clevinger deal.
Jake Bauers beat out Bobby Bradley for first base, in part due to his almost Sean Casey-like way of working a count and also because he and Bradley are both wanted by the organization but Bauers was out of options.
Despite a slew of potential guys, Andres Gimenez was the one that ended up with the unenviable task of trying to replace Francisco Lindor. Speaking of shortstops, a former one in Amed Rosario will more than likely start at center field.
Jordan Luplow fell off in 2020 due to injury and is hoping to rebound and expand on his successful 2019 campaign. Ben Gamel rounds out the guys competing for a spot, and many see him as a player who is in line behind Rosario if the latter can’t adjust to playing defense in center. Gamel ended up beating guys like Bradley Zimmer for the spot.
Logan Allen was the only surprise in the starting lineup, a move that had to happen after the Indians traded Adam Plutko for cash. The bullpen looks mostly as expected with fellow Clevinger-tradee Cal Quantrill landing a spot, as well as a former Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.
Right now it looks like up and comer James Karinchak will close out games for the Tribe, but Emmanuel Clase, the prize of the Corey Kluber trade, could be in line if Karinchak struggles.