With him out, an opportunity has opened up for others to get promoted to the club and prove they can fill in for the injured outfielder.
Fans knew roster moves were coming, and the team made several Monday afternoon ahead of the game against the Detroit Tigers.
Some more movement:
+ Recalled OF Oscar Mercado from Triple-A Columbus
+ Recalled LHP Logan Allen from Triple-A Columbus
– Optioned LHP Kyle Nelson to Triple-A Columbus
– Placed OF Josh Naylor on the 10-Day Injured List pic.twitter.com/OWfD8TVWFE
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 28, 2021
Let’s dive into both for a further look.
Allen Getting Another Chance
Allen was originally set to start over the weekend before a rainout changed the rotation schedule.
He was bumped, but is now back with the team and is tentatively set to start Thursday.
The plan is to have Logan Allen start on Thursday, but that could change if he's needed out of the bullpen before then.
Tito: "With the way our pitching's been, we've asked guys to be a little flexible."
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) June 28, 2021
Allen will begin in the bullpen as the team is still in need of plenty of available arms given the state of the starting rotation.
Updated pitching plan for Cleveland:
Sunday: Sam Hentges
Monday: Eli Morgan
Tuesday: J.C. Mejía
Wednesday: Cal Quantrill
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 26, 2021
There are just so many unknowns right now and it never hurts to ease Allen back into action as a reliever too.
Fans know his 2021 story by now.
He was the starter for the home opener, only to be demoted by the end of April because he allowed three home runs in back-to-back starts.
He didn’t exactly go deep into either outing either.
Allen continued to struggle at Triple-A, but the Indians need starting pitchers and the southpaw has the experience.
The team also did not give up on him after a few bad starts, so this promotion represents a shot to reclaim his spot in the rotation.
Mercado Getting His Own Second Chance
Mercado is set to get his first MLB action of 2021 after a dismal 2020 season and a rough go in spring training.
The former 2019 standout seemed to hit his way out of the lineup after he originally seemed like a building-block in the outfield.
Mercado is only batting .219 in Triple-A so far this year, but does have a .719 OPS.
So he is still doing something on offense, compared to his .348 OPS with the Indians in the shortened 2020 campaign.
Mercado is 26 years old and in a different spot from someone like Allen.
The Indians either need to see if he fits into the future plans, or offer him up in trade talks.
Stashing him in Triple-A for several more years doesn’t do any good for either side.
Mercado and Zimmer both being on the MLB club at the same time is fascinating as both were once seen as center fielders of the future in Cleveland.
Now it is up to one of them to seize this opportunity and stick around for the long-term.