Jordan Bastian had the scoop first today. He is reporting that the Lonnie Chisenhall era of Cleveland Indians baseball is about to begin. Obviously I think that wording is a bit tongue in cheek. The move, reportedly comes at the expense of veteran Adam Everett who has been designated for assignment if the rumors turn out to be factual. Our own TD was calling for drastic moves today in the weekend wrap after a horrid series against San Francisco. While not enough to be considered drastic yet, the Everett for Chisenhall swap is at least a step beyond the acknowledgement that the Indians indeed have a problem.
Before we all get too excited, I figure I’ll just toss a big, heavy wet blanket on everyone. Lonnie Chisenhall is the hottest player in AAA Columbus right now, but our own DP, who covers the Clippers, was the first to point out that The Chiz Kid might not have been the next in line. Chisenhall came off the DL hotter than anything. Prior to that though, Chisenhall has been streaky and much closer to 0.250 as a hitter. So, while it is certainly possible that a hot Chisenhall can come in and wake up the slumbering Tribe offense, he is still just a rookie AAA player who has only been really hot as of late.
Which brings me to the next point. Lonnie Chisenhall better be playing a lot. Maybe he won’t play tonight after traveling across the country to Arizona, but when he starts, he better not stop. (Update: he will be batting 7th this evening.) Chisenhall needs to be playing a lot of baseball at third base. Hannahan will need to slip into the defensive replacement and utility infielder category as he yields to The Chiz Kid.
So, as with all rookies, we’ll see. Thankfully, we’ll see. My eyes have seen enough of the alternative.
It might not work, but it is the right move. The Indians may never recover from the slide that started once the calendar turned to June. I won’t blame them (much) as long as they keep trying. Bringing up young guys to replace lethargic vets without any production to their names is good enough for me. I know better than to expect trades for high priced veterans even on a rental basis. That said, the Indians have an opportunity right now and as long as they are willing to pay to try and capitalize via service time of young players, I won’t kill them if they fail.
Now, about the outfield…
(Lonnie Chisenhall – Photo: Chuck Crow / The Plain Dealer)