If you fell asleep before 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, you probably woke up Thursday morning to check your phone, only to find out that the Indians acquired Jay Bruce from the Mets. The Indians didn’t give up much for the 2x Silver Slugger and 3x All-Star, as pitching prospect Ryder Ryan was sent to New York in the exchange.
The 30-year-old outfielder is having a superb year, hitting .256 with 29 homers and 75 RBI. While the new Indian is excited to be on the team, he knows the talent the Indians have, saying “I am not trying to be Superman – to come to a team of this caliber, in the position they’re in. I’m excited to get here and help out as much as I can.”
With his addition to the Indians, Bruce now holds sixth place in the American League in home runs, down two spots from his standings in the National Leauge. However, with the recent struggles from Aaron Judge and others atop the list, Bruce has a legitimate chance of winning the home run battle in the AL.
While Bruce’s addition to the Tribe is a big one, don’t expect it to be an easy one for manager Terry Francona. Like pitching, plenty of outfielders is surely a sound problem to have and that is the situation the Indians have found themselves in with the addition to Bruce.
With Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley on the DL and the solid production from Bradley Zimmer and Austin Jackson, Tito has a tough decision on his hands when it comes to playing time. My suggestion would be to move Lonnie back to third and put Jose Ramirez at second for the time being while Jason Kipnis is hurt/struggling. When Brantley comes back, have the outfield be Brantley in left, Zimmer in center and Bruce in right. Use guys like Guyer and Jackson in situational matchups or to pinch hit.
The Indians had a loaded outfield even before they acquired Bruce and now their team is looking even better than ever. It was a move that had to be made with the fear of re-injury to Brantley or struggles of another outfielder during the last months of the season before the playoffs. Let’s hope this move will be one that can benefit the Indians for months (or longer) to come.
Follow the author: @ChrisCracker21
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