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Cleveland Indians: Greg Allen’s time with the club is running out

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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After some recent additions, the Cleveland Indians have a crowded outfield and it appears Greg Allen’s time with the club is about to end for now.

The Cleveland Indians have activated a pair of outfielders from the disabled list in the last week, and while they designated veteran Melky Cabrera for assignment, they still have an abundance of outfielders on the big league roster (six to be exact).

With Yonder Alonso on Emergency Family Medical Leave until at least Monday, the club has a couple of days to make the decision of who to send out but it appears the decision has been made and it’ll be rookie Greg Allen.

Allen has had his moments with the Indians, reaching a peak when he hit a walk-off home run to beat the Houston Astros on May 27. However, since that home run, Allen has hit just .180 with a .486 OPS and 29 wRC+. Even worse, he’s 1 for 32 in his last 10 games played.

Overall, Allen is hitting just .206 with a .554 OPS and 48 wRC+. With Tyler Naquin healthy and appearing to be moving back to center field, it leaves Allen as the odd man out in the outfield rotation.

Another option the Indians had would have been to designate Rajai Davis for assignment. Like Allen, Davis has not hit well in 2018, batting just .221 with a .560 OPS and 53 wRC+. Additionally, he has a -0.1 fWAR in 45 games. At 37 years old, one couldn’t help but wonder if he’s run his course.

However, Davis does still run well and has 12 stolen bases while being caught just three times (80 percent success rate). He’s also reasonably well defensively, posting a +1 DRS (defensive runs saved) and 1.8 UZR (ultimate zone rating). That’s a pretty normal trend for him too, especially in center field where he’s posted a +1 DRS since the start of the 2015 season (3 1/2 seasons).

With Allen heading back to Triple-A soon, a couple of platoons could be formed. In center field, it would look like we’d get the 2016 platoon back with Rajai Davis and Tyler Naquin, the latter of the two getting the bulk of the playing time versus right-handed pitching and the former versus left-handed pitching.

In right field, we could see a platoon of Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer, with Chisenhall playing versus right-handed pitching and Guyer versus southpaws. Guyer has been sneaky good versus lefties this year too posting a .872 OPS and 139 wRC+, so he clearly has value to this club if used properly.

Chisenhall could get even more playing time too, especially if they play him at all at third base (I’d be surprised if he starts there though) or center field where he has played some in the past. The Indians could give Brantley some extra days off too with the more veteran outfield look.

Some may be upset with Allen going down over veterans like Davis and Guyer. Allen is the better defender of the three (even if metrics don’t completely back it up) and has the most upside.

However, at this juncture, it’s not about upside for the Indians but rather about putting guys in the best spot to succeed. Chisenhall and Brantley were definitely going to start most days and with how Naquin played early he’s clearly going to play over the struggling Allen. By sending him down to Triple-A he can play every day and get back into a hitting groove.

This will almost certainly not be the last time we see Greg Allen in an Indians jersey this year though. His combination of speed and defense are something the Indians value and will be able to utilize later in the season.

But for now, it’s the right move, and really the only move. As bad as Davis or Guyer may have played at points, they both bring something to the table (speed/defense for Davis, hitting vs LHP for Guyer).

Next: Tribe set to go on a hot streak before the break?

So what do you think, is it the right move to send down Greg Allen once Alonso is back? Or should the Indians stick with the youngster and part ways with one of their veterans? Let us know in the comments below.

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