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How does the Cleveland Indians bench compare with the rest of the AL Central?

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So far we have covered the expected starting position players and their projections. But what about the all important role players?

Jose Ramirez is likely the best bench player in all of the AL Central
Jose Ramirez is likely the best bench player in all of the AL Central
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

In this series so far we have shown that the infield may be in pretty decent shape and that the outfield, while not a strength, is not a complete train wreck in respect to their AL Central brethren.

Manager Terry Francona does tend to use his bench a bit more than the other rivals. Sometimes this is not a good thing (see Mike Aviles' use the past three seasons). Will this be a strength in 2016? As we covered the backup catchers in that article, we will just focus on the rest of the bench here.

Cleveland Indians

With Aviles departing, his super sub role should default to another super sub in Jose Ramirez. Ramirez should not only be better with the glove than Aviles but also with the bat as well. Originally I had Rajai Davis as a role player, but with Almonte's suspension, that upgrades another bat. I am going to list Tyler Naquin here, but I have a sneaky suspicion Will Venable gets this spot initially.

Jose Ramirez

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

272

4

258

311

363

296

86

0.8

ZIPS

568

8

262

316

382

305

92

2.1

Marcel

404

7

250

311

372

Collin Cowgill

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

168

3

237

295

348

284

77

0.0

ZIPS

241

5

236

297

355

289

81

0.9

Marcel

266

6

237

297

369

Tyler Naquin

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

104

2

257

312

371

298

87

0.2

ZIPS

402

7

229

285

349

278

73

0.6

Total

Steamer

1.0

ZIPS

3.6

Chicago White Sox

With the signing of Austin Jackson to play center field this season, I am going to slide Adam Eaton over to right and move Avisail Garcia to a fourth outfielder role. This will bump either J.B. Shuck or Jerry Sands off the roster by the end of spring. I will stick with Shuck for the time being. Although Jimmy Rollins is likely to start at short now, I will leave Tyler Saladino in a backup role and Leury Garcia moving back to the minors.

Avisail Garcia

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

341

11

264

314

409

314

96

0.0

ZIPS

501

13

265

311

394

307

91

0.0

Marcel

520

14

264

317

398

Tyler Saladino

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

160

3

243

301

360

291

80

0.1

ZIPS

463

9

232

290

347

280

73

1.4

Marcel

327

7

241

293

375

J.B. Shuck

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

114

2

255

312

337

287

78

-0.1

ZIPS

370

2

260

311

334

285

76

-0.2

Marcel

294

4

259

310

365

Total

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

0.0

ZIPS

1.2

Detroit Tigers

Even with Cameron Maybin starting the year injured, I suspect Anthony Gose will stick with the fourth outfielder role as Maybin is due back in April. The other two spots should end up with Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles.

Andrew Romine

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

144

1

239

290

309

266

63

0.0

ZIPS

309

3

240

289

307

265

63

0.1

Marcel

329

5

245

300

336

Anthony Gose

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

377

5

245

310

355

294

82

0.6

ZIPS

561

6

247

312

351

294

83

0.6

Marcel

495

7

253

319

374

Mike Aviles

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

184

3

247

286

360

282

75

0.0

ZIPS

347

6

249

282

346

274

69

0.1

Marcel

396

8

241

282

355

Total

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

0.6

ZIPS

0.8

Kansas City Royals

Like Detroit, one of the starting outfielders is slated to begin the season on the DL. But I don't think Jarrod Dyson will miss too much time and I will leave Paulo Orlando as the fourth outfielder. Christian Colon should be the backup infielder. I don't see a reason for Ned Yost to carry three catchers as he rarely sits Salvador Perez, I'll go with NRI Travis Snider as the last bench player.

Paulo Orlando

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

244

4

254

289

363

284

76

0.0

ZIPS

441

6

246

277

349

272

68

0.2

Marcel

326

9

251

291

426

Christian Colon

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

252

3

264

316

352

295

83

0.5

ZIPS

434

5

268

318

351

296

84

1.1

Marcel

264

4

277

337

391

Travis Snider

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

1

0

248

319

389

309

97

0.0

ZIPS

334

8

246

317

392

309

93

0.4

Marcel

368

10

244

315

295

Total

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

0.5

ZIPS

1.7

Minnesota Twins

The Twins will likely have a similar bench to the Tribe in that Eduardo Nunez are both fairly diverse in where they can play. I also expect Max Kepler to slide into the last bench spot with NRI Carlos Quentin with an outside shot.

Eduardo Nunez

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

188

3

264

304

383

300

87

0.2

ZIPS

269

4

260

297

380

294

83

0.8

Marcel

323

6

263

307

397

Danny Santana

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

225

3

264

296

376

292

81

0.4

ZIPS

530

6

260

289

376

288

79

0.7

Marcel

382

6

273

313

406

Max Kepler

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

157

3

253

313

383

303

89

0.1

ZIPS

488

9

252

310

396

307

92

0.8

Marcel

204

6

261

325

418

Total

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

0.7

ZIPS

2.3

My take

While trying to project what a bench will do over the course of the year is pretty much folly due to injuries etc., I think it's pretty clear that the Twins have the best bench of the group. I also think the Tribe slides into second with the Royals just a smidge behind them. The White Sox and Tigers have very poor depth in my opinion and cannot sustain any major injuries this year if they hope to compete.

I'd rank them as follows:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Cleveland
  3. Kansas City
  4. Detroit
  5. Chicago

Please post your rankings in the comments.

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