Nyjer Morgan and Lonnie Chisenhall Survive Latest Round of Cuts
The Indians made another round of roster moves on Monday and find themselves one step closer to finalizing their Opening Day roster. After much speculation on the part of fans and pundits alike, both Nyjer Morgan and Lonnie Chisenhall will start the 2014 season on the Indians roster.
In the case of Lonnie Chisenhall, his being named to the Indians Opening Day roster is not all that surprising. In actuality, the fact that the Indians had to announce that Chisenhall had made the roster was actually more of a shock than anything else. Does the announcement actually mean there was a chance that he wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster? Were the Indians seriously considering rolling the dice with Carlos Santana at third and therefore felt the need to clarify their position? For the record, their stance on this is still as clear as mud.
For Lonnie Chisenhall, 2014 will serve as another chance to show the Indians once and for all that he can be the third baseman of the future and is every bit the potential super-star they thought he could be when they drafted him. After several up and down seasons and trips back and forth to Triple-A Columbus, this might be the make or break season for Chisenhall and his future. But again, the Indians stance on Santana as a possible third base option does little to help us understand where they are with Chisenhall and therefore makes it almost next to impossible to know what the future actually holds for him.
Meanwhile, Nyjer Morgan’s spot on the Indians roster is the result of his performance this spring and a timely injury to regular starting center fielder, Michael Bourn. Because of a tweaked hamstring, Bourn will start the season on the 15-day disabled list while the Indians will begin their pursuit of the AL Central crown with Morgan manning center. It once again goes to show the value in signing veterans to minor league contracts. You just never know when having a player like that, particularly of Morgan’s caliber, could come in handy.
Of course, this also raises questions about the state of Bourns injured hamstring. The Indians are still saying that the injury is not that serious and simply requires rest. Fortunately, because they already have Morgan on board, it has provided them with the chance to give Bourn the proper amount of rest to ensure that when he is ready to play he is 100% healthy. Bourn does them absolutely no good if he is bouncing back and forth between the lineup and the DL all season long.
In addition to naming Nyjer Morgan and Lonnie Chisenhall to the Opening Day roster, the Indians also gave a handful of other players notification that they will begin the year in Triple-A. Both C.C. Lee and Trevor Bauer were optioned back to the minor leagues. However, both figure to play a prominent role in the Indians’ 2014 season at some point. Also, Bryan LaHair and David Cooper were reassigned to Triple-A Columbus where they will serve as vertical depth options.