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Cleveland Indians: Why Yandy Diaz should stay with the team

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

With his surge of production after replacing an injured Edwin Encarnacion, the Cleveland Indians should keep Yandy Diaz on the active roster.

In 1982, British rock band The Clash released the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and that’s the question that has always seemed to hang around Yandy Diaz.

After making a name for himself by appearing in 49 games in 2017, the hard-hitting Cleveland Indians third baseman with the massive biceps has seen his already small role diminish in 2018.

But after being a solid option of the bench last season, he’s become even more helpful this year.

He’s seen just six games of action but he’s been tearing it up in those six games. He’s batting .550/.550/.700 with five RBIs and five runs.

The sample size is small (only 20 at-bats) but clearly Diaz is acting as a spark club for this team. Injuries have been a huge issue all season for the Indians and it’s possible they continue to plague them.

All of the playing time Diaz has seen thus far has come by a result of injuries to other key players. Encarnacion goes down, Diaz comes up to fill in at DH.

Leonys Martin is hospitalized and Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin are on the DL for the time being, so that leaves other available spots for Diaz if and when Encarnacion returns.

But when everyone returns healthy, does that mean Diaz is headed back to Columbus? The Indians have to seriously consider keeping Diaz in Cleveland and I think they should.

He’s certainly the best hitting option off the bench, just consider the other options.

Brandon Guyer has been on a hot streak lately and his defensive flexibility is a plus, but his hitting isn’t on the same level as Diaz.

Roberto Perez is Roberto Perez and he hits like Roberto Perez. That’s about all that needs to be said.

Diaz has about a third of the production as Melky Cabrera (.250/.297/.652 with 11 runs and 17 RBIs over 124 at-bats) with one-sixth of the at bats.

Greg Allen is a fine defensive player but his production at the plate is below average and seemingly always will be.

Rajai Davis hit a huge home run in a huge game but he still can’t hold a candle to Diaz’s hitting ability.

There’s only a few players I could see the Indians justifiably keeping on the active roster over Yandy Diaz and they’re all for reasons other than hitting.

Erik Gonzalez, the closest to a bench player with Diaz’s hitting (at least this season), for his utility use, Rajai Davis for his speed and Brandon Guyer because it doesn’t hurt to have another outfielder on a team where they’re always injured.

That leaves Roberto Perez, Greg Allen and Melky Cabrera on the outside looking in. Roberto Perez will not be sent down as he is the backup catcher. His ability as a catcher is the sole reason he’s on this team and somehow it’s been good enough to keep him here.

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But there’s not much reason to keep Allen or Cabrera over Diaz. Yes, Allen and Cabrera are outfielders and this team desperately needs help in the outfield. But with Diaz producing the way he is and the team following suit, they have to make a spot to keep this guy in Cleveland.