Jose Ramirez fouls a ball off his lower leg and Cleveland collectively holds their breath. It also shows how sensitive this Cleveland Indians team is.
Have you ever had yourself a moment where you felt your whole body tense up and hold your breath for what feels like an eternity. That is exactly the feeling that I had today when I saw Jose Ramirez foul a ball off his knee and almost immediately get carted off the field. The Cleveland Indians third-baseman and All-Star player received the injury in what was the last Spring Training game for the Tribe in Arizona.
For what felt like an eternity but was more along the lines of two hours, most Indians stayed tense until we saw that the situation was not as dire as it felt.
EVERYBODY STAY CALM. We may not see Jose Ramirez on Opening Day in Minnesota. He may not even play in the home opener in Cleveland. That’s okay. He may be back in the first week of the season, maybe in two weeks when Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis are able to return.
But the situation itself shows just how sensitive things are for the Tribe. No Ramirez, Lindor, or Kipnis for what could only be two weeks shows how the Indians are vulnerable without these infielders.
Yes, they still have the best rotation in baseball. Lindor and Ramirez won’t be gone long, but depth is something the Indians lack. Max Moroff, Brad Miller, and Eric Stamets will man the infield along with Carlos Santana while the aforementioned players are hurt. That isn’t great depth at all.
Moroff has 181 career At-Bats, Eric Stamets has none, and Brad Miller has a ton with three prior teams and a career average of .239. Compare that to three injured All-Stars and the numbers don’t compare very well.
Sure, they may only be out for a combined 15 games. But it brings us a scary reality. If something like this were to happen with the Indians stars again, they need a contingency plan. We saw the Yankees and Dodgers use contingency plans in the last two years. Even in a small market, the Indians have options to pursue. Acquiring Brad Miller is one such option.
The Indians won’t have too many worries if a starting pitcher goes down, they have plenty of depth. But we may see some very unfamiliar names for the Indians on Opening Day, and that’s an eye opener for all Indians fans.