Following the Cleveland Indians 10-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins Friday night, the team announced that they have optioned outfield Tyler Holt to Triple-A. The Tribe have not announced a follow-up move, but they are expected to sometime before today’s bout against the Twins.
Despite some enticing potential with his speed and defense, Holt’s bat has not looked good. In nine games (20 at-bats) for the Tribe this year, Holt has only two hits and one walk, compared to nine strikeouts. At best, Holt could pan out as a bottom of the order platoon against left-handed pitchers, but even that looks like less of a possibility after this latest look. I am not ready to give up on him, but 26-year-old is beginning to look like a dreaded "AAAA" player.
Holt’s demotion leaves a hole in the outfield – especially with the Michael Bourn trade – so an outfielder is the obvious choice to replace him on the roster. Prior to any call-up, that leaves Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jerry Sands and sort of Ryan Raburn as the outfielders on the roster.
The Indians do have some exciting young players they could look at for Holt’s replacement. Abraham Almonte, who the team acquired in a trade with the Padres, could get his first shot on the Indians. Almonte played 31 games for the Padres this year, but his offense (54 wRC+) was not much better than Holt’s. James Ramsey is another option for the Tribe among players on the 40-man roster, and it would mark another Major League debut in this season that has already had so many.
There is also an outside chance that former first-round pick Tyler Naquin could get the call. Naquin, who suffered a concussion after a hard collision with an outfield wall, is due to return from the disabled list today or tomorrow. It is also worth noting that Naquin is not on the 40-man roster so it will require another minor move.