MLB News: Lonnie Chisenhall promoted to Cleveland

Right on cue, the Cleveland Indians announced that third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has been promoted from Triple-A Columbus.

The team’s Opening Day starter at the hot corner, Chisenhall was demoted to the Clippers back on May 13th after a sluggish start to the season. But all evening on Monday, there was rampant speculation that he would be on his way back to Cleveland.

First, the 24-year-old Chisenhall was mysteriously not in Columbus’ Monday lineup at home against Pawtucket. Then, after Cleveland’s game, WTAM’s Nick Camino reported that No. 8 reliever Matt Langwell appeared to be on his way out.

Thus, this afternoon, we had the announcement: Langwell down to Triple-A, Chisenhall back up to the majors. Chisenhall also will start on Tuesday for the Indians against Kansas City and will be at the No. 7 slot in the lineup. It shows that the Indians brass is confident in the impressive production the young infielder had in his one month back in the minors.

Chisenhall’s numbers in 27 Columbus games: .390/.456/.676. For most of that stretch, he was the best hitter in minor league baseball. He also slugged 8 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and collected 26 RBI. Specifically related to his patience issue, he drew a solid 12 walks against 24 strikeouts in 125 plate appearances.

FanGraphs featured Chisenhall earlier today as one of three back-to-the-minors prospects to watch. The website noted his staggering Triple-A production and the sudden need in the Tribe infield with the injuries to Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher.

Certainly, this will make fans much happier after witnessing a John McDonald ninth-inning at-bat in a 2-1 game on Monday night. We’ll see now if the free-swinging lefty Chisenhall has learned a thing or two, and can improve upon his .250/.286/.406 career MLB line in 135 games.

[Related: Indians 1, Royals 2: Bullpen and Defense Spoil Carrasco’s Gem]

  • Kildawg

    I also want to see if Chisenhall has improved defensively. That was the underlying reason why he was sent down right? Let’s hope he’s not another 4A player like LaPorta…

  • JacobWFNY

    Underlying reason why he was sent down was patience at the plate (22 Ks, 3 BBs in 99 PAs with CLE in 2013). Oddly enough, defense wasn’t mentioned previously.

    But then, amid his amazing power numbers for Columbus, he had 8 errors in 27 games. Not what he was told to focus on. But still a potential reason for concern.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Chisenhall in place of John McDonald? CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  • Kevin Huyghe

    I think defense was brought to attention because it was (thought to be) a result of frustration and immaturity as he was struggling at the plate. I remember specifically one game (I think he may have been sent down immediately afterwards) where he struggled at the plate all game, and after a strike out in a key situation, the next inning he botched a routine play at 3rd. It seemed like he wasn’t focused. So hopefully going down and teeing off on AAA pitching for a month has brought back around his confidence and focus.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Getting Chizzy wit it!

  • Harv 21

    Stop dissing Johnny Mac. At least he made contact against the closer. If Aviles did the same it would have been a tie game.

    This is win-win, or at least neutral. I swear I saw Reynolds look afraid to throw from third last week. Chiz can’t be much worse, and Reynolds can maybe relax and re-heat. Swisher’s defense has been spotty. There’s potential to add a productive bat at the bottom of the line-up and the defense can’t get much worse. If Chiz stays hot they can DL Swish and bring him back healthy after the All-Star break.

  • woofersus

    He was never a gold glove candidate, but it definitely wasn’t his defense that got him sent down. It’s just been noted recently because he had a flurry of errors in Columbus recently.

    LIke Jacob said, 22 K’s to 3 BB’s in 99 PA’s was the culprit. People (not so much here, but on some other sites) have been railing about how Kipnis and Cabrera had slow starts too and that Lonnie wasn’t all that terrible didn’t look deep enough into the numbers past his .213/.253/.351/.604 slash line. Against lefties he was batting .091 (2 for 22) and was only getting on base 13% of the time. He was also swinging at lots of balls early in counts and the Indians really wanted him to work on that in a lower pressure situation. Hopefully the lack of plate discipline was a result of pressing and lack of focus and not just indicative of what he is.

  • woofersus

    Chiz actually has a pretty decent arm I thought. They always planned to bring him back up eventually, but I suspect you’re right that they would like to give Reynolds a few more days off and take the pressure off now that Swisher is unavailable for a little while.

  • Harv 21

    agree about Chiz’s arm. When he came up last year thought his throwing was pretty impressive. Might be a guy who starts improving defensively once he stops fretting so much about his offense.