The Indians are getting their star infielder yet and could be parting ways with a fading star.
When the Indians’ Francisco Lindor went down with a sprained ankle in spring training, it was seen as a big blow to the prohibitive favorites to win the AL Central. Lindor has already had his offseason training program messed up by a calf injury he was rehabbing, so the idea of two separate ailments befalling one of their best players before the season even began was troubling. Lindor has been outstanding since becoming a mainstay in the Indians’ lineup as he has never posted an fWAR in a season lower than 4.0 and in 2018, he was at his best with a 7.6 fWAR with 38 home runs, 25 stolen bases, and a .277/.352/.519 slash line.
Fortunately, the Indians have still managed to hold their own in Lindor’s absence. They currently sit in first place in the AL Central with an 11-7 record. Now, it looks like they are getting Lindor back.
The Indians have activated Francisco Lindor from the injured list and designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) April 20, 2019
The return of Lindor should give a boost to an offense that needs one. Although the Indians are in first place at the moment, their season run differential currently sits at +2 which should be aided not only by Lindor’s offensive output, but defensive ability at shortstop as well.
As for Hanley Ramirez, it was just a few seasons ago that he posted a 3 fWAR season and showed glimpses of the promise he held when he joined the league with the Marlins. Once considered one of the games rising stars, Ramirez’s stock has taken a huge hit in recent years as he has been worth -0.8 fWAR total over the last three seasons including 2019. This season, Hanley has slashed .184/.298/.327 in 16 games. It still seems possible that another team will take a shot on him because he still has some power, but it is clear that he no longer has the tools he once had and his playing days could very well be numbered.