It’s time for the Gabriel Arias test run with the Cleveland Indians
One of the more consistent bright spots for the Cleveland Indians this season has been the play of Amed Rosario. The 25-year old shortstop has found his groove at the plate as well as in the field and has made the Francisco Lindor trade look like the Cleveland Indians may have fleeced the New York Mets rather than the initial reaction that had it the other way around. Unfortunately, that hot streak has hit a snag.
Rosario is going to miss the next week or so which will leave a hole at short for the Tribe. There’s of course internal options that are already in the majors. Andres Gimenez, Yu Chang and Owen Miller can hold down the fort. But what if the team wanted to experiment?
With the season winding down, moves won’t change service time at this point. So, why not give Gabriel Arias his major league debut and see what he can do over a handful of games? Worst case he struggles and is given a handful of things to address over the offseason rather than during next season. Best case, he goes off and Cleveland has another middle infielder that looks ready to take on a bigger role in 2022. There really isn’t a downside.
Entering the season, Cleveland’s front office hadn’t watched Arias since he was with the San Diego Padres in 2019. Acquired as part of the Mike Clevinger deal, Arias came to Cleveland during a time that the minor leagues weren’t playing. That means that Arias’ first impression as part of Cleveland’s organization came during Spring Training.
The 21-year old middle infielder was impressive enough to leapfrog over Double-A and start the season in Triple-A, a move that the front office should be praised for given the results. The pause for Arias has been there. Despite the strong results in Columbus, he’s still in Triple-A. Now might be the time to call him up.
With Rosario out for a bit the door is open for Arias to get a trial run as a major league shortstop. There isn’t any pressure to immediately produce and he can get some of the growing pains out of the way now.
Over 108 games with the Columbus Clippers, Arias has been able to slash .283/.347/.449 while knocking 29 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs. He’s also been able to tally 52 RBI and five stolen bases on top of drawing 37 walks.
It was also a slow start for Arias. If you remove the month of May from his stats they become even more impressive. From June 1 on, Arias has slashed .299/.352/.482. In the month of September alone, albeit only 14 games, he is slashing .321/.367/.571. That type of production sustained, and improving, over such a long period of time should be enough to warrant a call-up.
The nice part about Arias is that he’s also already on the 40-man roster so an additional move wouldn’t be needed to get him to the majors. It would just be a simple call-up. That paired with his success in Triple-A begs the question of why not? If he’s showing signs of being ready and there’s an opportunity to put that to the test, why not give it a try?
Since Rosario should only miss a week this would be a true test run. There’s fewer than a dozen games left in the season and Cleveland is out of the playoff picture, so there really isn’t anything to lose with a move like this one. Arias has played well enough to deserve the opportunity and if there’s a need for him in Cleveland to fill a spot, it seems like the logical decision to make.