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Let’s Talk Tribe Podcast Ep. 97: Dear Tito

Yandy Diaz and Lindor had a meeting with Tito. What does it mean? Nothing? Everything? A little bit of both?

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There’s something very weird about the Indians and Yandy Diaz...

Similar to the Francisco Mejia situation earlier this year, but also very different in some ways, the Indians are once again not promoting a potentially good-to-great hitter to give a much less effective veteran playing time. In Mejia’s case, it was Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez and their combined mediocrity blocking his debut, and in Yandy Diaz’s case it appears to be either Melky Cabrera, Brandon Guyer, or Jason Kipnis stopping him from earning a permanent spot on the team.

Where the two situations differ is where things start to get weird.

You see, Mejia’s weirdness was pretty cut and dry when everything finally came out — he wanted to be a catcher. The 22-year-old made his name in the minors was a catcher with a laser arm, and he probably knows there’s a lot more value in a switch-hitting catcher than a switch-hitting right fielder, which is where the Indians wanted to put him.

In Diaz’s case, a clandestine meeting between Diaz and manager Terry Francona took place yesterday, with clubhouse leader Francisco Lindor serving as a translator — or thought articulation if you go by Tito’s recollection. Diaz came to Francona in this meeting asking what he needed to do to stay. After all, he’s been one of the best hitters on the team over the last couple weeks, has nothing left to prove in the majors, and the Indians could use another bat like his in the lineup. So what gives?

Tito said of the meeting, and of Diaz, “He’s a heck of a hitter for a younger guy and he’s going to get better. And we’re just trying to make him understand how important it is to play every aspect of the game.” That’s eerily similar to the public criticism he gave of Mejia shortly before he was traded, when it seemed like tensions might be starting to boil over.

We don’t know the specifics of what went down, or how it went down. All we have is Tito’s word to the media and their cheery reporting of the whole thing.

That’s where things get interesting.

Enjoy this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Tribe.


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