Nolan Jones, the Cleveland Indians’ blossoming third base prospect, had surgery on his thumb this week. How might his recovery timetable impact the Tribe?
Top Cleveland Indians prospect Nolan Jones underwent surgery on his right thumb on Wednesday, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. The surgery was to correct an injury he sustained in the Arizona Fall League earlier in October.
Regarding his recovery timetable, there are no assurances on that front.
Zack Meisel’s use of the word “hopeful” in that note isn’t exactly cause for a sigh of relief. Jones is a darkhorse (at best) to crack the Opening Day roster for Cleveland in 2020, but he’s a strong mid-season promotion candidate who is likely to be given a legitimate opportunity to show the Indians something in Spring Training.
If he’s not even at full baseball activity by the time the Indians head to Goodyear, his audition gets put on hold. Jones’ ability or inability to open camp could have a minor impact on how the Indians navigate the winter.
With or without him, they need to sign or trade for an infielder. Third base is Jones’ primary position, so the Indians also have to decide when to permanently slide Jose Ramirez to second so the two can coexist.
One would think they plan to at least begin laying the groundwork for that infield alignment in Spring Training, considering Ramirez does not want to move back and forth during the season.
The good news is that November hasn’t even arrived yet. Jones has three full months and change to recover from his thumb surgery, and hopefully he’ll be ready to go in spring of 2020.