The Cleveland Indians have shuffled around their roster ahead of the impending shrinkage from 30 to 28 players.
For starters, they activated outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. off the injured list, where he’s been since the start of summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19. To make room for him on the roster, they have designated infielder Christian Arroyo for assignment.
Roster moves today , Major League squad is at 28 players and 40-man is at 40— Tribeinsider (@tribeinsider) August 6, 2020
+Designated INF Christian Arroyo for Assignment.
+Optioned OF Greg Allen and OF Daniel Johnson to the Alternate Training Site.
+Reinstated OF Delino DeShields from the Injured List.
The Indians have also optioned outfielders Greg Allen and Daniel Johnson Jr. to the team’s alternate site in Lake County, where they will continue to work out and stay as game-ready as possible should more roster shuffling be required.
DeShields was cleared to return and practice with the Indians in early July, but has remained on the injured while he got his conditioning back up to game speed. He figures to be at least be an outfield option for the Indians, and with Allen being sent to Lake County he will likely be the primary defensive backup and late-game base-runner.
DeShields was brought in the offseason when the Indians sent Corey Kluber to Texas in exchange for Emmanuel Clase. While DeShields may finally see some playing time soon, Clase will miss all of 2020 following a PED suspension.
It remains to be seen how quickly the 27-year-old outfielder can adjust to the strange season baseball is in, but he has a history of stealing bases and walking at a double-digit clip. His best offensive season came in 2017 with the Rangers when he slashed .269/.347/.367 (86 wRC+) with six home runs in 120 games.
No matter what DeShields’ production is once he gets going, it will probably be better than what Johnson and Allen put up in their limited action this season. Combined, the two outfielders went 1-for-20 with no walks, no stolen bases, and nine strikeouts. Allen’s chances to prove himself seem to be slimming by the day, but Johnson’s ceiling should not be forgotten just because of one hiccup in a strange, shortened season. Still, he heads to Lake County with a lot to work on before he can be an everyday contributor with the major league squad.
Assuming he doesn’t clear waivers, Christian Arroyo’s Cleveland Indians career lasted less than a game. He came in as a late-inning replacement in a blowout against the Royals back on July 26. Arroyo and Hunter Wood (who was also recently designated for assignment and cleared waivers) were both acquired in a deal with the Rays for Ruben Cardenas last July.