Another big shakeup in Cleveland’s infield, as the Indians have demoted starting third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A on the heels of doing the same with starting shortstop Jose Ramirez.
Chisenhall had a big first half last season, hitting .332 with a .915 OPS in 79 games to make a lot of people think the former top prospect was finally living up to his potential at age 25. But then he fell apart in the second half, hitting .218, and Chisenhall was even worse to begin this season with a .207 batting average and .585 OPS in 52 games.
Chisenhall is still young enough to get on track with the Indians, but he’s now a career .253 hitter with a .708 OPS in 397 games as a big leaguer and his inability to control the strike zone stands out as holding him back.
Mike Aviles is expected to serve as the Indians’ primary shortstop, leaving call-ups Zach Walters and Giovanny Urshela to split time at third base. And stud prospect Francisco Lindor will continue biding his time playing shortstop at Triple-A.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been issuing managerial orders from home. Citing an anonymous industry source, Van Wagenen made the call to remove Jacob deGrom from his June 1 start against the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning due to a hip cramp. deGrom was visibly frustrated with his removal.
According to Puma’s source, Van Wagenen was watching the game on TV at home. He communicated with a member of the team support staff that deGrom should be removed from the game. Word got to Callaway, who went to the mound and took out his starter. Furthermore, some in the Mets’ clubhouse were miffed that Van Wagenen didn’t take credit for the decision because it looked like deGrom and Callaway were at odds with each other.
Puma also notes that the decision to limit closer Edwin Díaz’s innings is also Van Wagenen’s. Díaz was not used in Sunday’s loss against the Cubs. Javier Báez ended up hitting a go-ahead three-run home run off of Seth Lugo. Callaway was questioned for choice not to use Díaz after the game, which resulted in a brouhaha in the clubhouse.
A veteran executive of another team said that a GM issuing managerial directives would be “unusual” and “crossing the line.” He added, “I have never seen that done, personally.”
Van Wagenen insisted, “Mickey has control of baseball decisions.”
In a season marked by dysfunction, things may be even more dysfunctional within the Mets organization than we knew.