The hot-corner options who never panned out for the Cleveland Indians
Yandy Diaz, Gio Urshela
Grouping these guys together seems fitting since their time in Cleveland overlapped and they were both in the running for the third base job at one point.
The case has been made that Yandy Diaz is a very solid hitter and that may be true. Unfortunately, during his time with the Cleveland Indians, Diaz was blocked by Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonzo, and Josh Donaldson.
During his tenure, Diaz played 88 games in which he hit .283 with a .727 OPS. Overall, not bad stats for a plug-and-play type of guy. He was a very capable fill-in option but ultimately there were better options both defensively and offensively. The deciding factor behind moving on from Yandy Diaz was the ability to trim payroll by sending away Edwin Encarnacion while bringing back a familiar reliable friend in Carlos Santana.
The upside to Urshela was always his glove. There really isn’t much more to say about him other than that. He was a guy who never impressed at the plate throughout the Minor Leagues and as incredible as he was defensively he was equally as unimpressive offensively.
He and Yandy Diaz split time at third base which was the majority of their playing time while in Cleveland and neither one of them was able to show enough to take the job. In his 148 games with the Indians, Urshela pieced together a .225 average with a .587 OPS. Far less than Stellar and never showed anything to the contrary.
Even after Urshela was traded to Toronto he wasn’t able to get anything going at the plate. In fact, they were so unimpressed they DFA’d him after 19 games and then sent him to the Yankees for cash considerations.
There was no way to know that Gio Urshela would go on to have any sort of success and if you look at his numbers from this past season, he may be starting his descent back to Earth. That is something to keep an eye on going forward.