Cleveland Indians: With Owen Miller called up, who’s next in Columbus?

Owen Miller #6 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Owen Miller #6 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Ryan Lavarnway, Cleveland Indians
Ryan Lavarnway #36 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Ryan Lavarnway, C

The veteran catcher on the Columbus Clippers’ roster, Ryan Lavarnway has been playing rather well in Columbus. Like McCarty, he isn’t on the 40-man roster at the moment but a change in guard at the catcher position could potentially open up a spot for him.

Lavarnway has been a spot starter in the majors for the better part of the last decade, but has never reached 50 games in a single season. In fact, he hasn’t even reached double-digits since 2015 when he played 27 games for the Atlanta Braves. However, he’s looking rather impressive at the plate in Columbus and still offers a strong defensive option behind the plate.

Over 12 games with Columbus, Lavarnway is slashing .304/.347/.652 with five home runs and 15 RBI. Even when he was in the majors for a five-game stretch last season with the Miami Marlins he was slashing .364 across the board in the limited action.

Now, Rene Rivera has posted a similar line in Cleveland since being called up, batting .313/.353/.375 over eight games. Granted those are both small sample sizes, but if the Cleveland Indians are looking for a temporary offensive boost from the catcher position while not sacrificing the defense, Lavarnway and Rivera could push Austin Hedges and his line of .136/.197/.227 off the roster.