Yesterday’s news prompted the predictable debate Cleveland Indians fans have been having for more than a year now: If Jose Ramirez can’t cut it as the Tribe’s everyday shortstop, then it’s time to give top prospect Francisco Lindor his chance in the majors.
But it was to no avail.
The Tribe elected to take another look at Zach Walters and, more surprisingly, promoted prospect Giovanny Urshela to take the place of Lonnie Chisenhall at third base. Cleveland has held firm on their stance that Lindor is not ready for the big leagues despite a widespread assumption this was a ploy to avoid giving Lindor the benefits that come along with the added service time.
Cleveland stayed true to the plan.
Lindor was named the International League Player of the Week after hitting .423 with four extra-base hits and two RBIs this week. He has raised his season slash-line to .271/.342/.396 and now has 17 extra-base hits – 10 doubles, five triples and two home runs – and 21 RBIs on the season. Known for his defensive prowess, Lindor has struggled a bit in the field this season, committing eight errors through 51 games at shortstop.
While those numbers are good – and, honestly, look historically good compared to Ramirez’s numbers in Cleveland – he has yet to force himself onto the big league roster.
That’s where the forced comparisons between Astros’ recent call-up Carlos Correa die.
Correa, who is projected as the league’s sixth-best shortstop by Eric Karabell of ESPN, has put up monstrous numbers split between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He has a combined average of .335, including a ridiculous triple-slash line of .385/.459/.726. He’s hit 10 home runs on the season while adding another 24 extra-base hits with 21 doubles and three triples.
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There is no denying Correa is ready for the show.
Lindor will certainly get his time in the big leagues but, in order to speed up the process and prove he belongs, the Tribe’s future shortstop has to find a way to force the issue by posting better numbers in Columbus. It’s unreasonable to expect Correa-type numbers from the 21-year-old, as Lindor isn’t the same hitter.
Should Lindor want to get that call to Cleveland sooner, he has to prove to manager Terry Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti that he’s undoubtedly ready.
He hasn’t done that yet.