Cleveland Indians: Greg Allen receives a surprising September call-up
By Jacob Burns
The Cleveland Indians called up speedy Double-A outfielder Greg Allen to bolster their roster as part of the roster expansion for the September grind.
As baseball eases its burden on managers in September by allowing the rosters to expand to 40 players instead of the usual 25, the Cleveland Indians will have some interesting decisions to make. The decisions outside the players currently on their 40-man roster is where the intrigue lies the most.
Going into September there are three names worth keeping an eye on: Francisco Mejia (already on the 40-man roster), Eric Haase, and Greg Allen. All three have a different set of skills the Indians could use as they look to push the Houston Astros for the AL’s best record and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
This morning, Keith Law shared some delightful news:
The Indians call-up of Allen makes sense here. Wednesday in Yankee Stadium, Brandon Guyer landed awkwardly on his left wrist and needed to leave the game as a precaution. The injury doesn’t seem all too serious, but with the shortage of outfielders currently, it makes some sense.
The Indians get both Lonnie Chisenhall and Abraham Almonte back on Friday according to the team’s media relations, and they won’t want to rush those two into action. Enter Greg Allen and his plus defense and speed.
While Allen is known for his plus speed tool, former RubberDuck Manager Greg Wallace noted there’s more to Allen’s approach in an interview with WFNY from this past offseason:
"“Greg is an incredibly strong guy” said Wallace. “His strength numbers in the weight room are at or near the top of the organization in every category, despite not being the biggest guy we have. When his timing is right and he efficiently uses his whole body, not just his hands, Greg has the potential to drive the ball with great authority. There weren’t any major mechanical adjustments, just getting timing right and making a good move to the ball.”"
Although spending a significant amount of time with a broken hamate bone in his wrist suffered on May 8, Allen has found production. Allen talked to Michael Beaven of the ohio.com about the injury upon his return earlier this summer:
"“The injury developed by swinging,” Allen said before the Ducks hosted the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Canal Park. “This injury occurred due to the volume and duration of swings.” Allen continued, “I feel a whole lot better. Obviously, going through the rehab process and the surgery and everything like that — it took some time and I definitely had to be patient. I am happy to be back.”"
Allen has posted a .266/.344/.357 slash for Akron this year with two home runs and 24 RBI. He is also 21 for 23 on stolen base attempts in Akron. Working back from a serious injury like the one Allen suffered takes time, and he really hit his stride in August.
There will be a pending 40-man roster move that accompanies this, and the most likely targets will be LHP Kyle Crockett or RHP Dylan Baker. Allen will give manager Terry Francona a speedy weapon off the bench to deploy both in the field, and on the base paths.
Next: Best prospects from the first half of the season
This audition will show the organization what Allen can add to an already deep outfield, as many see his future as a bright spot for the Indians organization.