Lonnie Chisenhall has played well for the Indians but the problem is he hasn’t played much. Earlier this season he lost a couple months of time with a right calf strain. He played 29 games despite that and has been effective in that short amount of time, hitting .321/.394/.452 in 84 plate appearances, primarily against righties.
Now, however, he’s going to miss most of the rest of the season thanks to a left calf strain. The Indians said today that Chisenhall will miss the next 8-10 weeks as a result. A tough break for both the Indians and for Chisenhall personally, seeing as though he’s poised to be a free agent this winter. Now he won’t be back any earlier than early September and any setbacks could end his season entirely.
Tyler Naquin will take Chisenhall’s at bats against righties and Brandon Guyer will stand in against lefties in the meantime.
First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.
Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.