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Smoke Signals: Mounting injuries and McAllister's big spring

The righty is posting good numbers against decent competition

Alex Hooper
March 18, 2018 - 11:47 am
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Small injuries are plaguing the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training. All of the small issues emerging with some of the Tribe’s projected starters are not anything that will force them to miss time, but they are mounting.

The good news is that the players who are recovering from major issues are slowly putting things together.

Outfielder Brandon Guyer (wrist) will almost certainly begin the season on the disabled list, while outfielder Michael Brantley has a chance to join him there.

The pair played together in a minor league game on Saturday, each having flawless days physically and statistically. Manager Terry Francona told reporters that Brantley went 2-for-2 in the contest, with a home run, while Guyer posted a 3-for-3 day.

Ticky tack

As for those minor injuries, nothing terrible to see here.

Catcher Yan Gomes missed Saturday’s game in Las Vegas with right arm soreness, likely just a patch of fatigue in the strength-building part of the season. Gomes is scheduled to return to the lineup Sunday in Vegas against the Chicago Cubs.

Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall was scratched Saturday in Arizona as well due to a cramp in his right calf, the same calf that kept him out for the entirety of the second half in 2017. Bench coach Brad Mills, serving as manager with Francona in Vegas, said Chisenhall simply felt tightness in the calf, and the scratch was precautionary.

Regardless, there is obviously some concern that it happens to be the same calf that randomly sprouted up as an issue. While the lefty is not making a straight shot for the DL, the need for another outfielder, preferably right-handed, becomes more apparent.

MVP candidate Jose Ramirez also left his game on Saturday after being hit in the ankle by a throw while sliding into third base. The removal was precautionary, as Ramirez suffered but a contusion on the play.

‘Mac’s in the house’

With a potentially elevated role in the bullpen on the line, right-handed reliever Zach McAllister continued his big spring on Saturday, going three innings against the Cubs. The hard-throwing righty has posted a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings this spring with 12 strikeouts and five walks.

Spring Training statistics being what they are, consider that baseball-reference.com’s Spring opponent quality metric has McAllister at an 8.0, meaning he is facing a Triple-A player in the average at-bat.

For comparison, lefty Ryan Merritt has a 9.31 ERA in 9.2 innings against a 7.3 OppQual, closer to a full-time Double-A player in 2017 than Triple-A.

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