Aug 9, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (8) reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
#1. What’s going on at third base?
This is the question that is generating the most intrigue. Who is playing third base for the Indians? Is Lonnie Chisenhall still the guy? The former top prospect that was valued for hit bat has been anything but spectacular so far. However, at 25-years-old there is still a lot of time left for Chiz to figure things out at the big league level. Constant uncertainty about his status with the team combined with an almost constant yo-yo like back and forth between Cleveland and Columbus hasn’t helped much. Is this the year where it finally clicks?
We may not find out. Thanks to Yan Gomes’ promotion to starting catcher, Carlos Santana has started working out at the hot corner. He played third during the Dominican winter league season, to mixed reviews, and wants to take a serious stab at playing the position full-time. His bat is certainly more reliable than Chisenhall’s at this point and it’s not like Chisenhall was the second coming of Brooks Robinson defensively. Can Santana win the job and if he does, what does this mean for the future of Lonnie Chisenhall with the Indians?
A possible position change could be in play, a la Alex Gordon in Kansas City. However, he is not a center fielder and the Indians just locked up Michael Brantley for four more years. Even in out in right field, the Indians have committed to David Murphy and Ryan Raburn for multiple years. It seems unlikely the Indians would move him to DH at age 25, so could he eventually become a trade chip? We’ll have to wait and see, but as of today, barring a red-hot spring at the plate, Chisenhall’s future with the Indians is very much in doubt.