The Indians announced a series of moves prior to today’s doubleheader with the Rays, including the placement of outfielder Eddie Rosario on the 10-day injured list due to a right abdominal strain. Left-hander Logan Allen was also optioned to Triple-A. To fill these roster spots, the Tribe selected the contract of right-hander DJ Johnson from Triple-A and called up outfielder Daniel Johnson and infielder Owen Miller (for the doubleheader, Miller will serve as the 27th man). To create 40-man roster space for Johnson, Josh Naylor was shifted to the 60-day injured list in the wake of his recent leg surgery.
Rosario has been bothered by abdominal issues for the last week, and after he was an early removal from Monday’s game, an IL placement was deemed necessary to give the outfielder a chance to fully heal. With a .309/.330/.489 slash line over his last 100 plate appearances, Rosario is finally starting to heat up at the plate, and his absence will remove another bat from the struggling Cleveland lineup.
Signed to a one-year, $8MM free agent deal last winter, Rosario’s first two months with the Tribe were rough, resulting in an overall .254/.296/.389 slash line in 306 PA despite his success over the last four weeks. The dropoff in slugging is of particular concern, as Rosario was (if anything) a power-first player during the previous four seasons with the Twins. Since Rosario has never posted good hard-hit ball numbers or taken many walks, the lack of power has curtailed Rosario’s offensive production, though his numbers in June provide some hope that he can get on track in the second half of the season.
A platoon of Daniel Johnson and Oscar Mercado could be the Tribe’s top option to fill in for Rosario in the outfield, and even if Rosario is able to return from the IL pretty quickly, it’s fair to assume that Cleveland will continue to explore trading for an outfielder as the deadline approaches. The Indians are 42-40 but still within striking distance of the postseason, 6.5 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central and 4.5 games back of a wild card berth. Between a lack of hitting and a bunch of injuries within the rotation, however, the Cleveland front office has a lot of needs to address while at the same time keeping payroll in check and (as always) keeping an eye towards the future. If the team slumps over the next two weeks, the Tribe’s deadline activity is likely to lean more towards selling than buying, though the Indians have often tried to accomplish both goals in multi-player trades over the last few years.
DJ Johnson inked a minor league deal over the winter, and now looks on the verge of his first big league action since the 2019 season. After posting a 4.88 ERA over 31 1/3 innings with the Rockies in 2018-19, Johnson played in Japan in 2020, and was also in the mix for a spot on the U.S. Olympic baseball team at the upcoming Summer Games.
Well, D.J’s resume may not impress, but he does have a major league beard.
You aren’t kidding. He could keep his wallet in there if he wanted to.
He strikes me as more of a money clip type.
To think he and Charlie Blackmon were teammates for a while.
He has incredible hit tools when it’s working. Never a very patient hitter, but when he connected it was fun to watch. He also had some clutch to him as well, but had one big hole in his game. He didn’t run out grounders and do the little things to win. That extra gear would take him from good to great.
Good to great?!? He’s batting .218 in the minors this year and is .048 lifetime in the majors, I’d be content to see him get somewhere close to serviceable and then hopefully good.
Think he’s talking about Rosario.
Oh ok, thought we were getting a little ahead on DJ.
DJ Johnson is the pitcher. Daniel Johnson is the outfielder.
And at this rate DJ is probably better at the plate than Daniel, while Daniel is probably better on the bump than DJ…
Haha was talking of Eddie Rosario. If DJ becomes the next Babe Ruth and I did not notice your comment I could have said you heard it hear first.
fun fact – Johnson played independent ball with the Traverse City Beach Bums
They held it together as long as they could with duct tape and crazy glue, this season is cooked. Get everyone healthy and see what the market has in store for the marketable pieces.
This is f$&@ing embarrassing now.
I am in full agreement. Never thought I’d say this, but maybe it’s time for a change in leadership, from the top down.
Agreed, and I don’t usually think this way. I know they’ve been decimated with injuries and have been auditioning AAAA guys everyday it seems, but it’s time for an overhaul.
Seeing how they’ve continually messed up with players like Aguilar and Diaz has always irked me. Then what they pulled coming out of spring training with Bradley, keeping Bauers around instead, only to fail again, it appears a pattern has formed.
Just hoping they don’t screw up with Tyler Freeman, in favor of one of their many trade acquisitions.
I don’t think there’s much wrong with what they’ve done. Teams aren’t going to be 100% right. It’s not fair to give them flak for the mistakes, but not praise them for their nice finds. Dan Otero, Nick Goody, and Nick Wittgren were all nice pickups. The Andrew Miller and Brad Hand deals appear to have been worth it. They also seemed to deal Encarnacion, Kluber, and Clevinger at the right time.
At times, it certainly seems as if they don’t give a young prospect the opportunity that he deserves, but there’s also Bieber, Plesac, Civale, and Karinchak where they’ve called them up and just ran with ’em. I don’t see them holding Freeman back. There will be an opening at 2B next year. They very well might not give him the job out of camp, but by the time Super 2 status has passed in 2022, I think he’ll be up for good.
Good points, plus Nolan Jones will be on board by then.
Rosario has been incredibly frustrating to watch. Watching him play, it was easy for me to feel like all he had to do was focus on the tools he has and he would be a perennial All Star. Instead, it seems like he’s unwilling to take a walk and wants to be the HR leader.
My dear friends, this season is just about over. It’s not possible to compete when the curse of Rocky Colavito,Bobby Bragan and whoever else you can come up with is against us. As the old saying goes you can’t make this up. Why is Bradley Zimmer still on this club. Duane Kuiper was scarier when he came to the plate and had more power too. There’s too much going on that is no good. No light at the end of this tunnel. With this kind of futility it’s best that they don’t renew the lease and get the hell out of town and move to Nashville. There is no hope. Why torture ourselves with this garbage. Rod Serling would have loved this.
Behold the power of positive thinking
Dang, they officially suck.