12:05PM: Reyes has been diagnosed with an internal oblique strain, and will be sidelined for the next 5-7 weeks. (MLB.com’s Mandy Bell was among those with the news.)
9:12AM: Reyes is indeed headed to the 10-day injured list, according to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (Twitter link). Owen Miller’s contract will be selected from Triple-A, and catcher Roberto Perez is being moved to the 60-day IL to accommodate Miller on the 40-man roster.
A third-round draft pick for the Padres in 2018, Miller came to Cleveland as part of the Mike Clevinger trade package last August. The Illinois State product has been dominant in his first taste of Triple-A baseball this year, as Miller has hit .406/.457/.609 with two home runs in 70 PA. MLB Pipeline rates Miller 16th on their list of Indians prospects, noting his “a hit-over-power approach” that still might result in something akin to 12-15 homers per season, but “Miller’s forte is making consistent line-drive contact to all fields with a compact right-handed stroke and control of the strike zone.”
Miller has mostly played shortstop over his minor league career, and that seems to be his likeliest position in Cleveland since Ramirez and Cesar Hernandez have third base and second base covered. Miller does have experience playing all three infield positions, and even had a couple of games as a left fielder and first baseman this year.
8:56AM: Indians designated hitter Franmil Reyes left yesterday’s game in the middle of a plate appearance due to what the club described as a left abdominal strain. Manager Terry Francona told reporters (including MLB.com’s Mandy Bell) that Reyes will get an MRI this morning to determine the extent of the injury, “but I mean I think common sense says he’s probably gonna miss some time.”
Reyes was in visible discomfort after taking a big swing in the sixth inning, fouling off a 2-0 pitch and then immediately walking away from the plate and holding his side. Pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow replaced Reyes and completed the at-bat, drawing a walk.
A trip to the injured list would be an unfortunate setback for the 25-year-old Reyes, who is in the midst of a breakout season. Reyes is hitting .257/.316/.576 with 11 home runs through 158 PA (139 wRC+, 141 OPS+), and only 12 players in baseball have more homers than Reyes so far this year. Making consistent contact and getting on base is still an issue for Reyes, though he has crushed the ball when he has made contact, ranking fourth among all qualified batters in Statcast’s barrel rate metric.
Replacing Reyes in the event of an IL stint would be no easy task, as Reyes and Jose Ramirez are almost single-handedly trying to carry a Cleveland lineup that has struggled to generate offense. Tribe fans have long been calling for any of Bobby Bradley, Daniel Johnson, or Owen Miller to be called up from Triple-A, but the thought of one of those unproven prospects replacing a scuffling hitter like Jake Bauers or Yu Chang, rather than a big slugger like Reyes. Despite the lack of runs scored, Cleveland is still hanging tough in the standings, sitting in second place in the AL Central with a 24-19 record.
I watch my share of minor league ball, and have had distinct man-love for Miller since he was in the Pads org. High intensity level, great in-game skills, probably best suited for 2B, but you can move him around. Tito’s going to think he’s found Pedroia-lite (I wonder if he plays cribbage). Not saying he’s at Dustin’s level, but Miller’s the kind of guy you park at 2B until he gets too expensive, and never worry about the position. Not a super-star, but a darn good player.
Just started reading about him and grabbed him in my fantasy keeper league within two minutes. Had a similar take. Further upside if they shuffle him around the diamond this year and even picks up OF eligibility potentially
Same here. Watched him in Spring Training as a Padre fan before the trade and you couldn’t help but love what you saw. He was just so blocked in the org so I was more excited for him to get a chance than I was disappointed that he was traded (same ironically, goes for Franimal).
That trade was terrible!
Not that terrible. It got Austin hedges out of San Diego
Hedges is really good catcher. I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least want him as a backup.
Getting Hedges out of San Diego wasn’t a plus for that trade! He was still in arb. That means if he was really a problem, they could have just non-tendered him. They didn’t have to make a bad trade just to get rid of him.
CLE probably would have done Clevinger for Hedges straight up this past offseason anyway if they hasn’t already traded Clevinger.
Can’t wait to see Miler at 2B and Tyler Freeman at SS in the near future. Both are similar contact hitters, though I’d give Freeman the edge.
Big blow to an Indians team that has already been no-hit twice with Reyes
Time to send Miller down so he can find his stroke again. He’s been awful so far (4-32) and scuffling like he has been is not beneficial at this point.
Sign Ryan Braun to play first base. He’s 37 years old, a free agent, and doesnt want to retire.