“Lonnie Chisenhall seizes third base job with hot spring.”
That was the headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer after Lonnie Chisenhall hit .412 in spring training and manager Terry Francona picked him as the Indians’ starting third baseman. But like so many players who had a “hot spring” this year he struggled when the games actually mattered.
And today, after Chisenhall hit just .213 with a .604 OPS in 26 games the Indians demoted him to Triple-A.
Chisenhall is still just 24 years old, but he’s now posted a sub-.700 OPS in 135 games as a big leaguer and perhaps most discouragingly has a hideous 98/19 K/BB ratio. He also hasn’t been much good defensively at third base, committing 20 errors in 108 starts there.
Mark Reynolds and Mike Aviles figure to split time at third base for Cleveland.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.