If you are a Cleveland Indians fan who has been following spring training, you may have noticed that Yu Chang has been terrorizing some pitchers lately.
In fact, Chang has ripped three home runs in only 14 at-bats so far this spring.
We know it is early, but we have to admit that those are impressive numbers no matter the level of competition.
Chang has plenty of pop in his bat, especially for a middle infielder.
The team and manager Terry Francona have a dilemma on their hands.
The middle infield is crowded to say the least with Chang, Cesar Hernandez, Andres Gimenez, and Amed Rosario all lobbying for starting roles.
Does Chang have a shot at winning a spot in the starting lineup?
If not, can Chang at least make the Opening Day roster or will he be relegated to Triple-A?
Why Chang Should Make the Big League Roster
Yu Chang Clan ain't nothin' to mess with.#RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/P3rterwE83
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 10, 2019
There are several reasons why Chang should at least make the Indians Opening Day roster.
Firstly, Chang’s versatility is of huge value to Francona.
Chang is a jack of all trades as he can play second, third, or shortstop.
All Tribe fans know that Jose Ramirez is firmly entrenched as the everyday third baseman and rightfully so.
However, even the superstar Ramirez needs a day off every now and then so Chang would be a good fit to fill in at third when needed.
Chang’s versatility could also help the Tribe if there is an injury to Hernandez, Rosario, or Gimenez.
Secondly, we have already mentioned Chang’s power hitting ability but it is worth mentioning here as well.
Chang had three minor league seasons where he hit double-digit home runs.
The 25-year-old had his best minor league season in 2017 with Akron when he blasted 24 jacks.
Even if Chang does not crack the starting lineup on Opening Day, he still could be a nice asset as a pinch-hitter.
What Obstacles Are in Chang’s Way?
César Hernández walks it off for the Indians (-240 ML) with an RBI-single in the 9th to win it 4-3.
3rd Indians walk off this week. @betthebases
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) September 26, 2020
Like we said above, the middle infield is extremely crowded and loaded with talent.
Chang must keep having a huge spring to keep from being overlooked.
Gimenez, Rosario, and Hernandez are all speed demons on the base paths.
Unfortunately, Chang is not on that high of a level as far as quickness.
It is going to be difficult for Chang to overtake Hernandez at second base because Hernandez has the most big league experience of all four middle infielders.
Chang’s best bet is to try and win the shortstop job.
In order to do that, Chang will have to beat out the two former New York Mets in Rosario and Gimenez.
Where Does Chang Start Out on Opening Day?
It is difficult for the Indians to know what to do because the team has four talented players all competing for two starting positions.
If the Tribe takes into consideration Chang’s spring training numbers, he definitely has a shot at starting.
The Indians are giving Rosario some work in the outfield.
That could be a good sign that Chang will at least make the Opening Day roster as a part-time player.
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