With 3 weeks until Opening Day the Indians had a roller coaster day as Michael Brantley continues to progress as the team braces for possibly starting the season without its All Star 2nd baseman. Here are a few notes from Goodyear.
-Michael Brantley continues his march to the big league on the back fields in simulated games. Today he faced two of the team’s best relievers as he faced Brian Shaw and Cody Allen.
-In 3 at bats he came through with two hits both coming off of Allen. Allen thought Brantley’s swing was as smooth as ever and he loves what he has seen from his teammate so far. After his first hit off of Allen, the closer asked Brantley if he got the ball in enough. Brantley snapped back, BASE HIT!
-It was a funny moment but also a telling moment about the state of where Brantley is at. He seems more like his old self, messing with teammates playfully teasing guys and swinging the sweetest swing you’ll see from the left side of the plate according to Allen.
-With the news that Jason Kipnis will be down for the next two weeks the question of who will replace him has come? Michael Martinez who many see as the team’s utility guy will obviously get some reps at 2nd, Eric Gonzalez a natural shortstop will get a chance and has hit the ball with authority this spring.
-But also look out for a possible move of Jose Ramirez to 2nd base his best and natural position. If this happens then 3rd base would have to be occupied by either Gio Urshela or Yandy Diaz who has been down the past week or so with a groin injury. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 20 days.
-In the game played on Monday, the positives were Yan Gomes hitting a home run early. Edwin Encarnacion was 2-3 with a pair of RBI.
-Shawn Armstrong continued his strong spring by tossing 1.2 scoreless innings. He now has tossed 6.1 innings of scoreless innings this spring.
-The negative was Carlos Carrasco had a tough go of things as he allowed 8 runs on 8 hits with 3 home runs allowed in just 1.2 innings.
-Tuesday the Tribe will host the Giants with Josh Tomlin on the mound. The game can be seen on Sportstime Ohio and heard on Indians.com