Cleveland Indians: 2 prospects who need to be added in September roster expansion
Gabriel Arias, Cleveland Indians No. 4 Prospect
The other player that Cleveland needs to call up next Wednesday is Gabriel Arias, the 21-year-old shortstop that came over as part of the return package for Mike Clevinger. Arias skipped Double-A altogether thanks to the pandemic shortened 2020 campaign, but spent the year training at the alternate site with Cleveland’s other top prospects and earned an every day role with Triple-A Columbus.
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Arias has played 90 games this season for the Clippers, slashing .273/.344/.424 with 17 doubles and 10 home runs. He’s played the majority of his time at shortstop, but has logged games at both second and third base. Arias has an elite arm, so moving him around the infield to accommodate Ramirez and Jones wouldn’t be too difficult for Cleveland.
Without either Jones or Arias playing a single Major League game, the idea of Cleveland rolling out a lineup with Jones playing third, Arias at shortstop, Ramirez at second and Bradley at first already sounds more exciting than the Tribe’s current plug-and-play mentality. Miller and Rosario have been eaten alive by short-hops up the middle, so this lineup should be a significant defensive improvement.
Now, I know this has been hard this season, but I’m still an optimist. There’s a strong possibility that both Jones and Arias’ bats translate to the big leagues, and could help put some insulation around Ramirez, who has largely carried the team in 2021. These are the types of situations and lineups the Indians need to explore when September rolls around. It will be far more important to give Nolan Jones and Gabriel Arias a taste of what they’ll likely be facing a lot of in 2022 than it will be to chase the postseason.