Jordan Luplow makes the most sense for the Cleveland Indians, instead of prospect Oscar Mercado. His ability to get on base provides a quality bat for the team.
Before the finale against the Houston Astros, the Clevealand Indians recalled OF Jordan Luplow from Tripple-A Columbus and optioned Greg Allen back down to Tripple-A.
Not many people saw this coming, but it did not come as a huge surprise either. Greg Allen was not getting much playing time this season and when he did, his play was subpar. Luplow was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason along with Max Moroff for Erik Gonzalez. I understand that everyone and their mother wanted Oscar Mercado to be called up, even myself, but Jordan Luplow makes the most sense for this Indians team right now.
It seems like the perfect time for Mercado to be called up. The outfield bats have been as cold as ice, while, to quote Cleveland Cavaliers’ play-by-play voice Fred McLeod, Mercado is hotter than a blow torch. Mercado is hitting .305 with a slugging percentage of .512, and OPS of .912 in Tripple-A this season, while in only a small sample size, Luplow was hitting .353, with a slugging percentage of .618. It shows that Luplow has nothing left to prove at the minor league level, in his time with the Pirates, he never hit below .287. He is almost essentially the right-handed version of Tyler Naquin. Neither of them has anything left to prove in the minors and need to figure it out in the major leagues.
One of the main reasons behind recalling Luplow instead of Mercado is; when the Indians optioned Luplow down earlier this season, they used his last option. This means he would have to clear waivers before being sent back down to the minors. His clock is ticking, the Indians have to see what they can get out of the 25-year-old outfielder before they bring Mercado up. Mercado still has yet to use any of his options so the Indians can keep him down in Columbus for as long as they want to. This is the biggest reason as to why Luplow makes the most sense for the Tribe, they need to know what they have in him before it is too late.
The lack of Right-handed hitting outfielders the Indians have at the Major League level is a pretty clear problem. The only one we had was Greg Allen, and obviously, he was replaced by Luplow. Having him on the bench to face left-hand pitchers later in the games. While he is not the greatest hitter against lefties, he still provides an upgrade over both Allen and Naquin.
An upside to having Jordan Luplow on the roster now is his patience at the plate. Over his time in the majors, he has an average walk percentage of 10.3%, which is above the league average of 8.73% (fangraphs.com). Which includes a 14.3% for this season with the Indians. His ability to be patient at the plate and draw walks shows that in a late-game situation, he provides a quality bench bat that can help jolt this team to a winning run.
Overall, not many people other than those close to Jordan Luplow wanted him over Oscar Mercado. Luplow’s ability to get on base as well as him being out of options makes him the right choice for the Indians right now over the prized prospect of Mercado.