Cleveland Indians fans have watched Lonnie Chisenhall for years, but that will come to an end in 2019 as he has signed with a new club.
Being a Cleveland Indians fans involves asking a lot of “what if” questions.
Lonnie Chisenhall certainly factors into that process.
Chisenhall made his debut in 2011 and was the third baseman of the future, until he wasn’t. A shift to the outfield continued to make him a valuable member of the team, including when he played a career-high 142 games in 2014.
But he could never get back to that level. And never will as a member of the Indians.
The news about Chisenhall broke Monday night seemingly out of nowhere. There I was, watching the Cavaliers lose when I saw the tweet pop up. I can’t say I’m surprised, but it is still weird when someone leaves a team after you have been watching them for so long.
The problem with Chisenhall is that he couldn’t stay healthy. He appeared in only 29 games in 2018, after only appearing in 82 games the year before. He slashed .321/.394/.452 in limited action this past season, but obviously that comes from a small sample size.
I can only wish Chisenhall the best. It is clear the Indians had no plans to keep him if he was allowed to walk for such a cheap price. Unless he simply wanted a fresh start.
The current outfield on the 40-man roster consists of Greg Allen, Leonys Martin, Tyler Naquin, Bradley Zimmer, Oscar Mercado, and Jordan Luplow, who was traded to the Indians by Chisenhall’s new team.
Michael Brantley is still potentially in play to return, but right now it is clear that the team could use some upgrades. Moving on from Chisenhall could be the first step in getting some fresh new faces in that outfield group.