Cleveland Indians: Lindor to minors, Brantley hurting and more from camp

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Prized prospect sent to Triple-A despite impressive spring with Cleveland Indians

As expected, the Cleveland Indians sent their top prospect Francisco Lindor the the minor leagues on Thursday. The Tribe’s 22-year-old future shortstop missed the cut despite posted a .297 batting averaged with six extra-base hits over 16 games this spring.

While the Indians acknowledged early in the spring that something unexpected would have to happen for Lindor to break camp, the strong play of Jose Ramirez made the decision easier for manager Terry Francona. Ramirez is hitting .286 in 13 games this spring and, in all likelihood, will be the Tribe’s Opening Day starter at shortstop.

In fairness to Lindor, Francona refused to speculate on whether the prized shortstop prospect will reach the big leagues this season.

The move was made, in part, to delay his service time clock, but the Indians also want to get Lindor more at-bats in Triple-A before handing him the reigns in the majors. Along with Lindor, the Tribe sent struggling reliever C.C. Lee to Columbus (AAA), while Audy Ciriaco, Destin Hood, Dustin Molleken, Adam Moore, Bryan Price and Michael Roth were shipped to minor league camp.

With just over a week left in spring training, Francona is taking his time to allow his final 25-man roster to take shape. Cleveland still has 40 players in camp, including three veterans — Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs and Bruce Chen — who have already been told they will not make the final roster.

Michael Brantley (back) out, Jason Kipnis (back) in

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Michael Brantley is experiencing some back tightness and will miss a few days. The injury, of course, already has some fans screaming about the supposed Sports Illustrated cover curse.

Jason Kipnis, on the other hand, returned to the lineup after missing the better part of a week with mid-back spasms.

Shortstop’s car takes his position in Goodyear

Apparently Ramirez has a habit of parking wherever he wants in the lot, so some of the Indians’ veterans made him the target of a hilarious practical joke. Kipnis sent out this photo on Instagram:

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com sent out a few tweets later in the morning with some information about the accused. You would never guess who was involved.

Okay, well you might.

Next: Is Marcum the next Aaron Harang?

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