5 internal options for the Cleveland Indians to replace Cesar Hernandez at second
On Thursday (July 29) the Cleveland Indians made their first move of the trade deadline, dealing Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox. The Tribe received in return a left-handed prospect, Konnor Pilkington, but only a pitching prospect in return leaves a hole at second base for the big league club to try and fill. Luckily, if there’s any position to need a player to fill a spot, it would be the middle infield.
In preparation for the departure of Francisco Lindor, the front office made it a priority to acquire middle infielders. Now, those prospects are coming close to getting their shot in the majors. What still remains to be seen is if the team will turn to prospects who already have tapped into their service time or if they will give more players their MLB debut.
One player that can be ruled out from contention is the club’s No. 2 prospect, Tyler Freeman. Freeman was announced to be out for the season on Thursday with a torn labrum. While he was still in Double-A, Freeman was playing at a high level and could have been a player to get a look later in the season.
Even without Freeman, the Cleveland Indians will have a deep pool of players to select from to take over the role at second base. Odds are the team will attempt to find the stopgap amongst the players that have already used service time, saving the other prospects for next season. No matter who it ends up being, there’s sure to be a competition for the role moving forward.
With so many hands trying to get time, the player that gets the first crack will likely have a short leash, especially if the other prospects begin making a strong push for playing time themselves. It’s a good problem to have, but it might take the rest of the season, at least, to figure out who the long-term solution will be.