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N&N: Tough roster choices ahead for Guardians

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Morning news and notes for Monday, September 27, 2021

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s to more good than bad this week!

Chicago 5, Cleveland 2

CTC Recap | Box Score

The good guys fell behind early and struggled against White Sox ace Lucas Giolito. With the loss, we fell to 76-79 on the season.

Guardians News

McKenzie gains ‘learning experiences’ in ‘21 | indians.com

McKenzie struggled on Sunday, but flashed plenty of potential this season. He’s only 24.

Anthony Gose deserves credit for success | cleveland.com

The lefty’s conversion to pitching has been a huge W all-around

What I’m hearing about the roster | cleveland.com

From Terry Pluto:

8. The Tribe has to make some decisions about Yu Chang, Bradley Zimmer, Oscar Mercado and Daniel Johnson. Chang, Zimmer and Mercado are all out of minor-league options. Hard to imagine all three being on the 2022 roster.

9. At one point, I thought Chang could be left off the 40-man roster. But of the four, he has made the most progress. Since the All-Star break, Chang is batting .284 (.875 OPS) with six homers and 21 RBI in 114 plate appearances. The Tribe believes he could be a good utility man in 2022, and perhaps compete to start at second base. He has proven he can play all four infield positions. Chang needs to improve on his ratio of 63 strikeouts to nine walks this season.

10. A month ago, it seemed Zimmer was making a strong bid to claim right field. But he is 7-for-54 (.130) since Sept. 1. For the year, he’s batting .225 (.667 OPS) with seven HR and 30 RBI. He’s hit some majestic homers, but the power is inconsistent. He’s fanned 112 times in 314 plate appearances.

11. The 28-year-old Zimmer is only two months younger than Jose Ramirez. The lefty hitter has 827 career MLB plate appearances, batting .224 (.667 OPS). Not sure who is considered a better prospect for 2022 – Zimmer or Mercado.

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