Spring training hasn't even begun, but already the Indians are dealing with a big injury to one of, if not the biggest star on the team. The 3-time All-Star has started his rehab process, and the Tribe say he will be examined daily this Spring. In 2018, he hit.277 with 38 home runs and 92 RBIs, helping him produce an OPS of.871. Lindor will not be able to participate in spring training under that timetable, but he shouldn't miss many regular season games.
In the event Lindor isn't ready for opening day, the Indians will have plenty of potential replacements. Lindor and Jose Ramirez were expected to carry the offense this season so this injury can not be welcomed news in the executive offices at Progressive Field. Max Moroff, acquired from the Pirates this winter, is another option, as is minor league journeyman Eric Stamlets. 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. Ramirez could move from third to shortstop, but that's a long shot. In 2015, he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year votes and has a career.288/.350/.487 slash line.
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In January Lindor was eligible for arbitration for the first time. 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. He had 82 extra-base hits and tied for the major league lead with 129 runs.
Joyce, 34, spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics.