How TribeGuy1997 would fix the Cleveland Indians outfield

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

So we're just going to pray - a lot.

No, but really. So I am still going to hope and pray that Michael Brantley can be in the lineup on Opening Day, but it's not likely, so in the event that he is not, I put Rajai Davis in left field until Dr. Smooth returns. I choose Davis, first and foremost, because he is the most experienced and he still has not declined a ton even though he is into his mid-thirties. So the speed is still there on the basepaths and he actually had some pop last year (.440 SLG and .182 ISO) all while getting on base at a slightly below average .306 clip. That all accumulated to a basically league average 101 wRC+ and was worth 1.8 wins in just 370 PA. Now, I know Steamer really dislikes him, but I gravitate more towards the ZiPS projection of 1.6 WAR in 389 PA. When Joey Butler, Robbie Grossman, or Shane Robinson are the other choices he is easily the most qualified in my opinion. I anticipate Brantley to be out for 1-3 weeks (probably like 2) so this probably isn't a huge deal to begin with. Now, on to center field.

I've always been a fan of giving the young guys a shot when they are one of your top options and I was going to give this job to Abraham Almonte, but in light of his suspension for 80 games and our lack of other choices without Brantley for a few weeks, I give the everyday job to Tyler Naquin. I was already on the fence about Naquin going into Spring Training, but seeing him hit the past 8 games has made me jump over the fence and onto the Naquin side of the fence. Yes, I know it has been only one week, but from what I have seen, at this point I'm giving it to him full time until Brantley returns since he plays stellar defense and he can really run on the basepaths, as well as hit for high average with great gap power (doubles for days), what's not to like?

Right Field is by far the easiest decision to make and I think most would agree with me when I give Lonnie Chisenhall the Opening Day start and the mostly full-time role. Yes, the Opening Day start against the tough lefty David Price (I guess this would be up to Tito, but seeing how well he hits off David Price, I would think he gets the start). against others, such as Chris Sale, he would be replaced by Collin Cowgill in right field.

Not a whole lot changes once Brantley comes back. Brantley goes to left field, of course, and then Davis slides over to be the short end of a platoon with Naquin (or he takes over the full-time role if Naquin struggles severely at the plate). We keep Cowgill to be the replacement for Chisenhall on occasion and play left field if Brantley needs a day off. If we find that he becomes redundant to Davis then we cut him loose.

Note: on Opening Day Cowgill would probably start in center field since Price is a left-handed pitcher and Naquin bats left handed.

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