Lindor injury could open Indians spot for Taiwan's Chang

Tanya Simon
February 10, 2019

The regular season opens on March 28 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor will likely miss the start of the season with a strained right calf. Yu Chang and Eric Staments are listed as Lindor's backups on the Indians' website - neither prospect has played in the Major Leagues. Infielder Mike Freeman, who will be in camp on a minor league deal, played 58 games at shortstop in the minors for the Cubs previous year.

The Indians said Lindor recently hurt the calf while preparing for spring training in Orlando, Fla. Veteran infielder Ryan Flaherty will also be in camp on a minor league deal.

The 25-year-old Lindor is coming off the best season of his career. Flaherty has played sparingly at short in his seven-year career.

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The Cleveland Indians may start the season without their best player. It's an injury that is concerning to the AL Central champions, who have had an interesting offseason. Even if it's for a week or two, the Tribe can't afford to have Lindor out of their lineup this season. He signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with Cleveland in January, and will be arbitration eligible in both 2020 and 2021.

For Indians fans, I know they are sad that Lindor will be out for the beginning of the season, but if I were to pick any team that would be fine without their star player, it would be the Indians. He would have the chance to earn $500,000 in performance bonuses. The one-time All-Star hit.208 with seven home runs and 34 runs.

Fangraphs.com projects Joyce to hit a handful of home runs and drive in about 14 with a batting average of.232 in a little more than 30 games in 2019.

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