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?Who GETS THE Lead In The Cleveland Indians? Positional Races? The Week In Baseball

5 day(s) ago in category Miscellaneous

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It?s been a while since the Indians have had anywhere near this much competition for jobs in spring training. It?s made for an interesting amount of time in the Arizona desert. What it means for their capability to contend in the AL Central and reach the postseason for the fifth amount of time in the last six years has yet to reveal itself. Off to the races: First base: Jake Bauers may be the veteran, Bobby Bradley the contender. Bauers has a better glove, Bradley has hit precisely what moves this spring. Bradley is hitting .375 (6-for-16) and is tied for the AL lead in RBI, doubles and extra-base hits. Bauers is out of options also it still feels like it?s his job to reduce. Shortstop: Andres Gimenez is expected to be the first Indians opening day shortstop not named Francisco Lindor -- with the exception of Eric Stamets, circa 2019 -- since 2015. He?s swung the bat well and played good defense. Amed Rosario, who arrived with Gimenez from the Mets in the Lindor-Carlos Carrasco trade, was his main competition. But Rosario is getting a try center field on Sunday in a B game. Gimenez is hitting .278 (5-for-18) with two homers and six RBI. ?I believe this kid is a really bright spot for us,? said manager Terry Francona. ?Without just flat out saying where he?s going to play so when ... He?s done a heckuva job. We enjoy him.? Utility player: Infielders Yu Chang and Rosario are the contenders. They?re both right-handed hitters, which helps balance the roster. Chang is hitting .286 (4-for-14) with three homers and five RBI. He showed the same sort of power in Spring Training II. Rosario is hitting .333 (5-for-15). Chang comes with an option left and Rosario is making $2.4 million this year. If the Indians can?t carry both, Rosario probably gets the edge. Right field: Plenty of players to evaluate -- Josh Naylor, Jordan Luplow, Daniel Johnson, Ben Gamel and Harold Ramirez. Naylor, a left-handed hitter, has been obtaining a large amount of playing time this spring. Right-handed hitting Jordan Luplow is the perfect platoon partner, but hasn?t been on the field due to a sore left ankle. Ramirez is a right-handed hitter, but he?s had a late start after being claimed on waivers from the Marlins. Johnson has had an excellent spring, but he bats left-handed like Naylor. Gamel is in camp on a minor-league deal. Center field: Rosario?s entry into the festivities should get the attention of Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer. Mercado and Zimmer have options and so are coming off miserable seasons. It?s hard to imagine Rosario making anything but an occasional appearance in center after playing shortstop his whole career, but maybe the transition is simpler than it looks. Starting rotation: The most notable three spots participate in Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac. The fourth and fifth spots are open for interpretation. Cal Quantrill and Triston McKenzie seemed like the favorites when camp opened. Logan Allen and Adam Plutko have not made it easy in it. Plutko, who is out of options, and Allen have pitched out from the pen aswell. Bullpen: Francona said early in camp that he?d prefer to carry nine relievers. James Karinchak?s wildness has made it unclear who is going to close, but Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase give the Indians two hard throwers at the backend. Nick Wittgren, who has excelled in the setup role, and Phil Maton have pitched well this spring. There are a lot of arms competing for the last five spots. Let?s say one would go to Plutko. Another would have to go to a left-hander. Lefties Oliver Perez, Anthony Gose and Kyle Nelson have had good springs. Would the Indians keep two lefties? Gose has been impressive, the Indians know what to expect from Perez and Nelson has options. Then you can find four veteran right-handers in camp on minor-league deals -- Bryan Shaw, Heath Hembree, Blake Parker and DJ Johnson. Shaw, looking for his second tour with the Indians, has pitched well lately. Nick Sandlin, a 2018 second-round pick, has made only one appearance. Trevor Stephan, a Rule 5 select from the Yankees, has had some good moments. Names to keep in mind * RIP Wynn Hawkins, who pitched for the Indians from 1960-62. Hawkins, 84, died on Feb. 11 in Canfield. Hawkins, a standout basketball player at Baldwin-Wallace, allowed Ted Williams? 500th homer on June 17, 1960 at Municipal Stadium. * Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who played for the Indians from 2006-12, returned to his native South Korea to play for the Sky Wyverns. * Left-hander Scott Kazmir, who revived his career with the Indians in 2013, is trying a comeback with the Giants after not pitching in the big leagues since 2016. * Right-hander Tyler Clippard, who did a good job for the Indians in 2019, is in camp with Arizona after signing a one-year deal worth $2.25 million. The Talkin? Tribe Opening Day event will need place virtually on April 5, 2021 from noon ? 1:30 p.M. -featuring Indians sports writers and columnists from cleveland.Com and The Plain Dealer. Tickets could be reserved here. Plus, join our VIP experience and get the chance to mingle with former Cleveland Indians players and much more. There are only 150 tickets available for this exclusive experience and tickets can only be won through our sweepstakes. A variety of Cleveland Indians face masks available online today. (Fanatics.Com) New Indians face masks for sale: Here?s where you could buy Cleveland Indians-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including an individual mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All MLB proceeds donated to charity. More Indians coverage Karinchak?s up-and-down spring continues in 9-2 loss to Dodgers Indians have a significant bargain in Cy Young winner Shane Bieber Mike Freeman traded to Reds for cash; six players delivered to minors Has trading Freeman create a domino effect in spring camp? What?s happening on Day 23 of spring training Rosario begins outfield work and 5 other things from spring training Shane Bieber rides momentum as Indians fall to Padres, 5-4 Does Amed Rosario?s OF introduction mean Andr�s Gim�nez is really a SS starter? Logan Allen?s slider adjustment and 5 other things on the spring McKenzie looks good in 4-2 loss to Angels Have Bradley, Johnson and Allen become impossible to overlook? Note to readers: in the event that you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commissio


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