In isolation, losing a 1-2 win player (Almonte was worth 1.1 Wins Over Replacement in 51 games for the Indians a year ago) isn't a massive loss, but because the Indians have almost no major-league depth, his loss at a time when you figure Michael Brantley will also be out gives the lineup a rather massive hole in April and May. If the Indians don't pick up a center fielder before Opening Day, I'm with Pluto: just go with Tyler Naquin.
I got a chuckle out of Hoynes' last answer, which was in reference to Almonte testing positive for a PED:
It's an interesting dynamic. An NFL football player can get banged for a positive test and no one raises an eyebrow. But let a middle-of-the-road outfielder like Almonte test positive and it's the end of the world.
I think baseball and its players are held to a higher standard than the other professional sports. I'm not quite sure why.
Here's Almonte's full statement on the positive PED test:
And here is Francona's reaction:
Although Francona is confident with the players in camp, I think the Indians are going to add at least one major-league outfielder to the roster before spring training is over.
Jay Jaffe breaks the new changes to both plays at second base as well as the new pace of play changes. It's well worth a read.
David Laurila's MLB notes.
Cespedes has to have a very large garage. A detailed look at his roster of motorized vehicles.