The Indians are back in the news today as the team activated OF Lonnie Chisenhall from the 10-day DL and, in a corresponding move, Bradley Zimmer was demoted back to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Chisenhall.
This kind of move may baffle fans but if you look at the numbers. Zimmer’s demotion should not be much of a surprise. While Chisenhall has only played in seven games this season and has not seen action since April 7, Zimmer has under-produced for much of the time he has been with the big league team.
Zimmer’s .226/.281/.611 triple-slash line through 106 at-bats is still lower than Chisenhall’s .235/.381/.675 numbers through 17 at-bats. No, these numbers are not great, but when you factor in Chisenhall’s past two full seasons, his numbers greatly increase to .287/.340/.470 and look a lot better than a player who is younger and has a higher ceiling at this point in their respective careers.
Greg Allen was certainly a candidate to be sent back to Columbus, but over the last two weeks, Allen is hitting .300/.364/.500 and hit his first career walk-off home run against the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros on May 27, a 14-inning affair between two of the best American League teams.
Tyler Naquin is still on the shelf nursing a strained left hamstring, but in the meantime, the team has their outfield rotation in Chisenhall, Allen, Michael Brantley, Rajai Davis and Melky Cabrera who was recently called-up to fill holes left by oft-injured outfielders.
Zimmer’s demotion may not sit well with fans, but give it some time as the team decided to go with the more seasoned and proven player in Chisenhall. Expect Chisenhall’s numbers to improve and resemble his past two seasons, once he can adjust to not having played a game in an extended period, something Cabrera can attest to.
Chisenhall will see his first game action since April during the Indians’ Tuesday night game against the Milwaukee Brewers, getting the start in right field and will bat eighth in the lineup.