Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall Must Prove Himself In 2015


Lonnie Chisenhall had a very inconsistent campaign during the 2014 season. Now in the last year of his contract, he must prove he’s worthy of re-signing.

The Cleveland Indians drafted Chisenhall in the first round of the 2008 draft, but he’s failed to live up to the hype that surrounded him. He made his major league debut in June of 2011 after posting a .267 batting average for the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate.)

In his first year of big league action, Lonnie hit a respectable .255 in 66 games. The numbers don’t necessarily jump out. However, it was his first real big league action, and most rookies tend to struggle at first.

Chisenhall would only go on to play a total of 137 games for the Indians throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Constantly battling injury, he posted an underwhelming .246 batting average combined over the two years.

However, 2014 would prove to be a different story for the 26-year-old.

In a season where Chisenhall was able to stay on the field, he posted a much-improved .280 batting average. He played in career high 142 games for the Tribe during the 2014 season. He posted career highs in the following areas: hits (134), doubles (29), home runs (13), and RBIs (59).

At one point, he even had a .393 (66-for-168) batting average. (This stretch includes a game where he had 9 RBIs.)

Chisenhall eventually slowed down during the second half of the year, but his mini-breakout season in 2014 only makes you wonder if he can build on it in 2015. If so, it would be an easy decision to sign him long-term; the Indians need a third baseman.

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Another issue, however, is his injury history. Season after season, Chisenhall has consistently missed large chunks of time due to injury. The Indians can’t afford to have a liability at such an important position.

Chisenhall must prove to Terry Francona and the Indians front office that he can not only stay on the field, but also consistently play at a high level. If Lonnie can do that, then the Indians may have found their legit third baseman of the future.