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.