Spring training hasn't even begun, but already the Indians are dealing with a big injury to one of, if not the biggest star on the team. He was seen at the Cleveland Clinic and diagnosed with a moderate strain. The combination of time out plus the potential necessity of a rehab assignment may mean that Lindor won't be on the field until mid- to late-April, and this will also make it harder for him to get his timing right in the batter's box as he readjusts to seeing live Major League Baseball pitching on a daily basis. However, there is no guarantee that will be the case. The left-handed hitting outfielder earned $6 million last season in the final year of a two-year $10 million contract with the Athletics. He has hit 71 home runs over the last two seasons (33 in 2017, 38 last year), while playing shortstop at a high level.
In January Lindor was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
If Lindor is unable to open the season - he's going to have to go through a fast-track version of spring training no matter when he returns - who is going to play shortstop?
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Erik Gonzalez is a Pittsburgh Pirate now, and the next shortstop on Cleveland's depth chart is Yu Chang, who has exactly zero innings of big league experience. Utility man Max Moroff, acquired from the Pirates in the Gonzalez deal, played six games at short previous year.
Needless to say, none of those options are that appealing. Lindor is already in Goodyear working to get back to action. A story from MLB Trade Rumors reports that Lindor suffered a right calf strain, and will be shelved for a time frame between seven and nine weeks.