“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.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: