Anyway, if you’re into that kind of thing, Josh Tomlin pitched another gem, his second in a row, but the Indians offense was a dumpster fire, their ∞th in a row. Miguel Sano hit a very bad Josh Tomlin Pitch® in the first inning then nothing happened for two-and-a-half hours.
Unless you count the Indians loading the bases and getting nothing out of it as something. I don’t.
So instead, let’s talk about why I am officially throwing my hat into the “fuck it, let’s just promote Bradley Zimmer” ring. Throughout my plea, I’ll throw in some random fun facts from tonight’s game so anyone here strictly looking for a recap won’t feel like they completely wasted their time coming to this Myspace page.
Tonight, while Cleveland burned, something kind of exciting happened down in Columbus. Former top Indians prospect (or I guess still top Indians prospect, depending on who you talk to), Bradley Zimmer homered again. It was the 24-year-old’s fifth of the season and second in his last four games. The Columbus Clippers game is still ongoing as it got a late start due to rain, but as of this writing Zimmer is 2-for-3 on the day with just one strikeout.
[Michael Brantley was right not to try and “run out” an infield fly with one out. He had no way to know it would drop. Lay off him. ]
Currently, to put it lightly, the Indians outfield is decimated with injuries. Even in the minors, Tyler Naquin is day-to-day with a foot contusion. At least both injuries at the major-league level are to role players Abraham Almonte and Austin Jackson. However, outside of Michael Brantley everyone in the outfield is a roleplayer. There is no one player set at a position out there, even the great and bicepiful Yandy Diaz looked mortaler than usual roaming the outfield in a Tribe uniform. So injuries to Almonte and Jackson seem minor, but they are almost equally as devastating as if Lonnie Chisenhall or Brandon Guyer went down instead.
Meanwhile, Bradley Zimmer receives a 50-grade on his fielding from FanGraphs, while being called a natural-looking defender with above-average range in the outfield. Like Tyler Naquin, Zimmer may require some platooning, though. His splits are not quite as dramatic as Naquin’s — and at some levels Zimmer was fine against left-handed pitching — but it would benefit the Indians to pair him with someone else against southpaws in center field.
[Brandon Guyer, why did you bunt? Stop it.]
Zimmer is going to strike out a lot, we know this. Over his minor-league career he has whiffed 31.8 percent of the time, and he’s doing so one-third of his at-bats in Triple-A this season. But you know what, who cares? That’s right, I’m saying it. I don’t care if Bradley Zimmer strikes out a lot. It’s popular now. Striking out is the fidget spinners of the baseball world and Zimmer is just one of a dozen kids in class WUUURRRRRRing away while waiting for his turn to popcorn read Catcher in the Rye, hoping he gets a paragraph with a swear in it.
Like most players who are focusing more on the “three true outcomes” of baseball, Zimmer has proven to be a player who can walk in double-digit at-bats, he strikes out a lot, and he has good pop for his position. He might not be a super prospect anymore, but if his future really is as a fourth outfielder or spot replacement here or there, why not bring him up now when he can do exactly that? And if his future is a star, is he really going to improve that much more in Triple-A over the next two or three months before the Indians themselves say “fuck it, let’s call up Bradley Zimmer”? Like the horse in this very strange tweet, I say nay.
I will say, I am not advocating to call up Bradley Zimmer to provide some kind of “spark” for the Indians offense. In the same way that striking a flint stick will not stop your couch from burning, bringing up a rookie is not going to solve all of your offensive problems that caused you to get blanked by the Minnesota Twins. But at some point, with so many injuries, Zimmer just becomes the best fill-in at center field and/or occasionally right field.
[This was the first time the Indians were shutout this season.]
Haven't even started the recap because there's no way the Indians are really going to lose 1-0 to the Twins, are they? Please no.— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) May 13, 2017