The Cleveland Indians have been using a platoon in center field to start the season.
Jordan Luplow and Ben Gamel have switched off for the first five games.
That rotation is changing Friday night as Amed Rosario will get his first start in center field.
Rosario, a natural shortstop, started getting reps in center once Andres Gimenez seemingly won the shortstop job in spring training.
His first performance was brutal as he dropped several balls and looked way out of place.
But the plan remains in place and fans will be praying he holds his own Friday night.
Amed Rosario getting his first start in CF: pic.twitter.com/WPHuqH4zPZ
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) April 9, 2021
Rosario’s New Position
The Indians are still an uncertain team all over the field.
Rosario has already gotten time at shortstop when it seemed Gimenez would be the everyday guy.
Terry Francona loves his platoons and shortstop was added to the list along with center field and first base.
Rosario is clearly loved by the front office for his potential on offense.
Friday night will be the first of many tests for him in the outfield as well.
Should he succeed, Ben Gamel may lose his spot on the roster.
Because based on platoons, Gamel should be out there Friday night.
A few errors in a spring training game is nothing to panic about.
Just don’t expect Francona to let Rosario stay out there if he is actively hurting the team’s chances of winning.
Or so we hope.
Questions Remain in Center
Rosario starting in center will make him the third player to do so in only six games this season.
And of course, he is batting leadoff.
Amed Rosario gets the start in center today for #Indians. He's still a work in progress, but Francona likes his athleticism and calm.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) April 9, 2021
Francona continues to keep the center field spot in the leadoff position even though the individual is not an everyday player.
Why is he doing this?
That is a question fans can’t seem to answer.
Let’s also not forget that Oscar Mercado was expected to be the everyday man in center when camp opened in February.
Even Bradley Zimmer was there in case Mercado struggled.
Both ended up not making the Opening Day roster and it is possible we see one of them in May or June if Rosario, Gamel, and Luplow can’t separate themselves in this current competition.
Playing Rosario in center carries a ton of risk.
Fans will now be hoping the team has given him enough practice reps to where he is comfortable enough to at least catch the balls hit his way.
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