Although only nine games in, Tyler Naquin has had an up and down season. He made the initial roster, was optioned to AAA, and then recalled again after Lonnie Chisenhall tweaked his calf. Lots of people initially called for Naquin to be permanently optioned, so Naquin’s future with the tribe seems very much in question among the fans.
To begin, Naquin’s initial demotion to AAA was more to clear room for the re-activated Michael Brantley. Naquin himself hadn’t been doing too bad, hitting .214, about the same average as the 37 at-bats he had last season while driving in two runs from 14 at-bats. He was a little below the 2018 league average of .238. His OBP was .313. Not stellar, but not awful, either. He performs like the solid backup player he’s meant to be.
Still, many people wish to trade Naquin or permanently option him to the minors. But it is unclear what trade value, if any, he would carry, so it seems the latter option is the best way to go. I don’t think it would hurt anybody to keep him around in Columbus. He provides a solid backup to outfielders like Bradley Zimmer, Brantley, and Chisenhall. And given that several Indians players seem injury prone, I think it’s a decent idea to keep him around for now.