The Cleveland Indians already had a rough enough series up in Minnesota over the weekend.
The video of the hit is a bit graphic, and it was clear Naylor was dealing with some serious pain after Clement ran into him.
The injury is to Naylor’s leg, which is why we aren’t sharing the video.
An update was provided after the game by Terry Francona, and it was obviously not a good one.
Terry Francona on Josh Naylor: "We know that there's a fracture. Other than that, he's being evaluated over at the hospital right now. We'll know more, I hope, in a couple hours. We're not even sure if he can travel home with us."
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 27, 2021
Naylor was carted off the field and the team already knows he has a fracture.
That is awful news for the young player who was enjoying a steady rise in success this season.
Initial Problem To Solve
Naylor is an everyday player for the Indians and now the team has a surprise opening in the outfield.
This comes at a time when Jordan Luplow, another outfielder who showed signs of improvement this year, is on the long-term injured list.
That leaves those two, along with Eddie Rosario, as the likely trio in the outfield.
A few other options make sense as well, including calling up a top prospect.
#Indians could go with trio of Outfielders to replace Naylor in Oscar Mercado, Daniel Johnson or Nolan Jones. Another possibility is to put Amed Rosario back in the OF and callup Andres Gimenez to play SS. Reyes needs a roster spot as well coming up.
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) June 27, 2021
Oscar Mercado may be at the top of the list because the Indians need to see what they have in the young player.
He looked like a foundational piece in 2019, only to struggle mightily in 2020 and this past spring training.
But he is 26 years old and cannot be protected in Triple-A forever.
Daniel Johnson made a brief appearance earlier this year and looked terrible on offense.
But like Mercado, the Indians have to see what they have.
Nolan Jones is the most exciting option given the fact he is the top prospect in the system.
And if the front office isn’t big on Mercado or Johnson, it makes sense to at least give Jones a taste of MLB play.
He can also go back down without any negative consequences.
A Frustrating Break For Naylor
This is an incredible bummer for Naylor.
He appears to be dealing with a serious leg injury in what was supposed to be his first full season at the MLB level.
His OPS was up to .706 after a slow start to the season.
Naylor is also second on the team in doubles.
Now, the focus is all on his recovery.
The injuries just keep piling up with the Indians in 2021.
Franmil Reyes is working his way back, but now Naylor is out.
And while Naylor is not a star player, he was still holding down an everyday spot.
Most importantly, the focus is on his health and making sure he recovers properly.
So our thoughts are with him after what remains a scary situation to see on any baseball diamond.