Indians' Francisco Lindor may miss spring training with calf strain

Francisco Lindor’s injury a reminder of his immense worth to the Indians and their championship hopes

Francisco Lindor’s injury a reminder of his immense worth to the Indians and their championship hopes

While there is value in players of Lindor's stature playing in games and getting at-bats, it shouldn't wreck his entire 2019 campaign.

In the event Lindor isn't ready for opening day, the Indians will have plenty of potential replacements. Lindor led the league in at-bats and runs, crossing the plate 129 times.

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) looks back to the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Progressive Field. His options include moving All Star and former MVP runner up Jose Ramirez to shortstop, and prospect Yu Chang who played in AAA Columbus. Veteran infielder Ryan Flaherty will also be in camp on a minor league deal.

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This timeline means that, at best, Lindor will have next to no opportunity to participate in Spring Training before Opening Day. In 2015, he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year votes and has a career.288/.350/.487 slash line.

Lindor avoided arbitration this offseason. Jose Iglesias and Adeiny Hechavarria are two sort of name-brand options who can be signed to fill in, and Michael Martinez spent parts of three seasons (2015-2017) as a utility player for the Indians before apparently being out of baseball past year. A left-handed hitter, he made $6 million in the final season of a $10 million, two-year deal. He would have the chance to earn $500,000 in performance bonuses.

Joyce, 34, spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics. In addition, it tops off what has already been a very disappointing off season for the reigning American League Central Division champions. When healthy, Joyce averages around 19 home runs and 63 RBI per season, production that the Indians outfield would certainly welcome.

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