Cleveland Indians All-Decade Team Studs and Duds: The Infield

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Third Base

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but the third base position is another easy call for stud of the decade. Jose Ramirez though did take one of the more scenic routes of our studs. Came up in late 2013 as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement before eventually becoming the starting shortstop after the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera. He was so bad there he eventually was sent back to Triple-A and came back a super-utility guy, even playing some outfield. However, something clicked in 2016 and after replacing Juan Uribe during the season he took off and became an MVP candidate at the position posting a 24.3 fWAR.

Like first or second base, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. Lonnie Chisenhall looked like the third baseman of the future but never was able to do much and eventually moved to the outfield. Jack Hannahan had some moments as well and may have been the closest thing to competition, however, as said, this one goes to “JRam,” easily.

Somewhat surprisingly there weren’t as many duds as I anticipated given the struggle the club had at filling the position. Chisenhall never was able to lock the position down but no one ever really played enough to be a true dud. Even Uribe had moments in his half-season with the Tribe. But honestly, perhaps the biggest dud was Gio Urshela.

Yes, he had a breakout year with the Yankees in 2019 but his time with the Indians was nothing like that. Despite his plus defense, he produced a -0.8 fWAR at third in 148 games and just 453 plate appearances. He hit .225/.273/.314. He also made a costly error in Game 4 of the American League Division Series in 2017, arguably costing them the game and ultimately the series. He was eventually released…and then released again by the Blue Jays. Hopefully, for him, he’s found his home (and swing) but for the Tribe, he was a dud.

Stud: Jose Ramirez
Dud: Gio Urshela