Cleveland Guardians News

Cleveland Indians: Figuring out third base for the remainder of the season

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians lost Jose Ramirez to a hand injury over the weekend. Two players will fill in for him until he hopefully makes his return.

This weekend was supposed to be an easy one for the Cleveland Indians.

Naturally that was not how things went.

The Indians did take two of three from the Kansas City Royals, but lost Jose Ramirez in the process.

It was a weird injury as Ramirez didn’t get hit by a pitch. He simply swung the bat and fractured a hamate bone in his right hand. My basic Google research explained how it is an injury that happens after repeated stress on the hand. So it was likely bound to happen at some point.

Ramirez is set to have surgery today. Then comes the injury timetable from a team that is notorious for not offering reliable injury timetables. So that should be fun.

In the meantime we have Mike Freeman and Yu Chang holding down third base. Chang got the start Sunday and proceeded to get two hits and draw a walk. He came around to score twice as well. Even with the nice outing he was pulled late for Freeman.

Chang is still an unknown at the major league level. He has been a top prospect in the organization for years but his first hit Sunday marked the first of his career in the majors. That is why I think Freeman is going to end up getting more playing time.

Terry Francona is extremely loyal to veteran players. Freeman has played in the minors for most of his professional career, yet he is 32 years old and is slashing .283/.371/.442 in 51 games with the Indians this season. I am not declaring him more reliable than Chang because of his age. I am just guessing how Terry Francona will view the situation.

Even with his age Freeman has still only played in 108 career MLB games. So while he is a veteran of professional baseball, he isn’t vastly more experienced than Chang at the MLB level. That should help make it somewhat more of an open competition, even if Francona trusts Freeman late like he did on Sunday. Maybe the front office will chime in as well to ensure Chang gets his time.

Hopefully this is only a discussion for the next month and not into October, given the Indians make the postseason.

We should know more about Ramirez today but it all depends on how he recovers. An initial timetable is meaningless if he isn’t feeling great at the end of next month.

Next. The 2019 season is nowhere near lost. dark

That is all the doom and gloom I’ll allow for now.

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