Found June 06, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The Indians may feel differently, but third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall should be on a plane and heading to Detroit to rejoin the team for the start of an important three game series this weekend.
Manager Terry Francona turned down suggestions made over the past few days that Chisenhall should be called up, going so far as to downplay it by saying that they have not really discussed the matter and the team is more focused on the draft this week.
Whether or not Francona is speaking the truth or putting up a smoke screen, the Indians struggles over the past three weeks - where they have lost 12 of 16 and have fallen to 30-29 on the season - make it an opportune time for some changes. No one is expecting wholesale changes, but the team needs a spark and sometimes a few changes to the roster can help get the team going in a more positive direction again.
One such change should be to recall Chisenhall from Triple-A Columbus.
Chisenhall, 24, was demoted back on May 13th and was hitting just .213 with three homers, 11 RBI and .604 OPS in 26 games in Cleveland. He also had just three walks compared to 22 strikeouts in 94 at bats, and had some struggles in the field with four errors in 58 total chances for a .931 fielding percentage. He was optioned out because his swing was off, his approach at the plate was poor, and his defense was inconsistent.
Since going back to Columbus, Chisenhall has found his swing again and his approach has returned. In 17 games he is hitting a blistering .382 with six home runs, 18 RBI and 1.190 OPS, and has nine walks and 14 strikeouts in 68 at bats. Not only is he hitting and doing so with consistent authority, but that all important walk to strikeout ratio is much improved which shows his overall approach is much more in line with what is expected of him.
In contrast, since Chisenhalls demotion the Indians have inserted Mark Reynolds in at third base and to put it frankly he has been a disaster since moving there. Prior to Chisenhalls demotion, Reynolds hit a red hot .291 with 11 homers, 32 RBI and .996 OPS in 34 games as the designated hitter, first baseman and occasional third baseman. Since Chisenhall has been sent out and Reynolds has become the primary third baseman, he is hitting an ice cold .173 with two homers, nine RBI and .515 OPS in 23 games.
It may just be coincidence that Reynolds is performing poorly at the plate since he moved to third base, but it probably is not. He has long had his struggles defensively, and in his short time at third base for the Indians those problems have surfaced as he is not very good coming in on balls, has an erratic arm, and is just a below average defender overall at third base.
Reynolds ranks near the bottom in baseball in ultimate zone rating (UZR) at -2.3 and over the last five seasons his combined -35.8 UZR is the worst in all of baseball. In contrast, while Chisenhall has his issues defensively as well, he at least has a 1.4 UZR this season in Cleveland and over his brief three year big league career has a -3.2 UZR.
The defense has still been a little inconsistent for Chisenhall as he has seven errors and a .873 fielding percentage in his 17 games at Columbus, but he is still an upgrade defensively over Reynolds.
Chisenhall was also sent out to get more work against left-handed pitching as he was just 2-for-22 against them in Cleveland prior to his demotion. He has had limited opportunities to face lefties as he has just 14 at bats against southpaws in his 17 games with Columbus (4-for-14, 6 K). The struggles are still there against lefties and probably always will be, but right now Chisenhall can really help out the Indians against right-handed pitching at the big league level, something teams face more than 70 of the time.
With the Indians lineup slumping, the Indians should call up Chisenhall to be the regular third baseman and set up a mini-platoon with him and Reynolds. By primarily playing Chisenhall against righties and Reynolds against lefties, it helps reduce the exposure of Chisenhall against left-handed pitching and Reynolds overuse at third base. When Reynolds is not playing third, he can play first base or be the designated hitter.
Some teams elect to tough it out with their guys when they hit a rough patch as a team, and that is admirable that Francona and the Indians may want to do that. But with the team slipping in the standings and the schedule only getting tougher these next several days, sometimes you need to make a move to create that spark.
If Chisenhall comes back and hits like he is expected to and Reynolds moves back to his prior role as a designated hitter and he starts hitting again, the Indians will get more than just a spark to the lineup.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE
Indians closer Chris Perez and his wife have been charged with misdemeanor drug abuse after allegedly having 5.8 ounces of marijuana delivered to their home.
The Cleveland Indians have selected their fourth pitcher out of five players selected, using their sixth-round pick (171st overall) on Casey Shane, a right-handed arm out of Burleson, Texas.
Shane is listed at 6-feet-4-inches and is said to boast a solid sinking fastball-change-up combination. The 19-year-old already touches 93 with his fastball, one which scouts say provides â€...
DETROIT -- It can officially be stated that the Cleveland Indians are in a funk.The dictionary defines funk as being in a dejected mood. Technically when it comes to a baseball team, a funk means losing too much and struggling to stop it, which leads to a dejected mood.Fridays 7-5 loss to the Tigers in Detroit was the Indians fifth in a row, sixth in seven and 13th in 17 games. It...
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterdayâ€™s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterdayâ€™s game.Â
Ronny RodriguezÂ (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E
Rodriguez may not have had the best night in Akron Wednesday (that honor belongs to the man in the next section down),...
Rocky River police are investigating the delivery of unspecified narcotics to the home of Indians relief pitcher Chris Perez, a police spokesperson said Wednesday.No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.The statement from Julie Morren of the Rocky River Police read: (Tuesday) on June 4 a multi-jurisdictional operation was conducted involving the WEB (Westshore...
As if the Cleveland Indians logo was not questionable as it is, New Era Caps removed all doubt with their rendition of the Indiansâ€™ Fourth of July hats.
New Era had reportedly released the wrong image for the hat, assuming that all MLB teams would be using their logos for the celebratory lids. The hats displayed the typical Native American caricature covered in white stars surrounded...
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians say they are looking into "a situation" with closer Chris Perez that occurred Tuesday in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti says in the statement that the team has "talked with Chris" and is "gathering additional information."
The statement says the team will not have any...
Poor Indians manager Terry Francona. He probably thought his own misguided dependence on chewing tobacco was the most he had to worry about. It turns out that one of his pitchers, Chris Perez, has been cited for receiving a "significant" amount of marijuana at his house. No arrest has been made, but it looks like the 27-year old will have some explaining to do to Tito,...
The Cleveland Indians have placed Asdrubal Cabrera on the disabled list with a strain in his right quad. Cabrera will now miss at least two weeks. Mike Aviles will pick up the vast majority of the starts in Cabreraâ€™s absence and should be picked up by owners looking for a replacement. Aviles has 3 homers and 4 stolen bases to go with his .282 average in 110 at-bats thus far this...
The Indians selected prep outfielder Clint Frazier with their first pick last night, and it is a pick that Tony is very excited about. Unlike the selection of Tyler Naquin last season who many felt was a reach and he did not have much prospect sizzle, Frazier has all the glitz and sex appeal people look for in a first round pick. In his Day 1 recap, Tony shares his thoughts on the...
The Cleveland Indians have elected to push back Zach McAllister's next start, as the right-hander is dealing with irritation in the middle finger of his throwing hand. Rather than take the mound Friday against the Detroit Tigers, McAllister next appearance has been pushed back until Tuesday versus the Texas Rangers, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
The finger injury...
Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez and has wife have been
charged with misdemeanor drug possession in the shipment of just
over one-third of a pound of marijuana mailed to their home.
Justin Verlander and Ubaldo Jimenez have already become quite familiar with each other this season.
They'll renew acquaintances again Friday night as Verlander and the Detroit Tigers host Jimenez and the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a three-game series.
Detroit (32-26) hopes Verlander can continue the recent dominance by the team's starting pitchers, while Cleveland...
The 2013 MLB Draft commences in just a little over 24 hours. With that in mind, Tony sat down with Indians Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant to discuss a myriad of topics going into the draft. They talked about the talent in this yearâ€™s draft, their plans with the fifth pick, their philosophy changes over the years, some adjustments they have made to their scouting of starting...
Letâ€™s get this out of the way: Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier is not the next Mike Trout.
Of course, Trout was the No. 25 selection in 2009, a high-schooler out of New Jersey. The 6-foot-1, 220-lb.-monster of an athlete is an absolute star and posted one of the most dominant rookie seasons in MLB history last year. Thereâ€™s a reason why he was in the MVP discussion...