Cleveland Indians: Outfield depth being tested right now

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians have a lot of organizational depth in the outfield and they are happy for that right now. The Tribe’s depth is being tested right now.

When Michael Brantley returned from the disabled list to make his season debut on April 6, the Cleveland Indians finally had gotten their entire outfield healthy. That lasted about a day. Lonnie Chisenhall left the game on April 7th in the second inning with a calf injury.

Since then, the injuries have piled up. Next was Bradley Zimmer hitting the shelf with a rib contusion. Shortly after that, Tyler Naquin joined him with a hamstring strain. And most recently, Brandon Guyer has been placed on the DL with a neck injury he suffered colliding with a fan while attempting to make a catch.

That makes four outfielders currently on the disabled list. All four were on the Opening Day roster. The only outfielder on the Opening Day roster that is still healthy is Rajai Davis.

Chisenhall should be back soon, which will provide a nice boost, but the depth is being tested right now.

Melky Cabrera‘s presence

The April signing of Melky Cabrera is proving to be a wise acquisition. As an experienced big league presence, Cabrera will be able to keep the line the moving in the outfield until everyone gets back. What his potential role might be once this outfield group gets healthy is unknown. It will likely depend on how well he plays in what is basically an audition for playing time while Chisenhall recovers.

His presence in right field allows Terry Francona to rotate Greg Allen and Rajai Davis in center field as opposed to having to play both and depend on Erik Gonzalez as the fourth outfielder.

How is the outfield holding up?

Cabrera is still trying to get going after missing all of spring training. Michael Brantley is the only outfielder that’s really been producing and he’s carried the group. Brantley’s been carrying a large part of the offense for the entire team as well. He has a .338/.374/.563 slash line with seven homers so far.

Rajai Davis is batting a woeful .226 and Greg Allen is even worse at .216. The two have combined for four total RBIs between them.

Naquin was heating up and playing well when he hit the disabled list. It’s just been one injury after another so far for this outfield.

The good news is that Chisenhall will return soon and the Cleveland Indians will have their two big name outfielders that are impending free agents back and healthy in their lineup. Keeping those two healthy for the rest of the season will be a good thing for both sides.

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Injuries hit every single team each season. It just appears that the injury bug resides in the outfield grass for the Cleveland Indians.