Sometime’s Abe is not so honest. So, when Cleveland Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte was suspended 80 games prior to the season due to testing positive for Boldenone, he was immediately disqualified from playing in the 2016 postseason.
Since his return from suspension, the 27-year-old has a .297/.316/.459 slash line with nine doubles, one home run, nine RBIs, and two stolen bases in 74 at-bats (27 games). He struggled early, but Almonte has been impressive over the last couple weeks. In his last 13 games, batting .378 with an OPS of more an .900 over his last 13 games.
The biggest question that looms is why is Abraham Almonte taking playing time away from outfielders such as rookie Tyler Naquin when he isn’t eligible to play in the postseason? Because of one simple thing: The Indians must first get to the playoffs before they can think about who will play once October arrives. Additionally, in a tightly packed AL, the No. 1 seed takes on added importance for both the home field advantage and the ability to play a team who must burn a pitcher for the Wild Card contest.
Indians manager Terry Francona is impressed with how Almonte has bounced back after returning mid-season, per cleveland.com’s Zack Meisel.
“When he first got back here. It didn’t seem like he had the same personality going yet. He was joining us late and was coming from a little bit of a weird place. But, the last two, three weeks, he’s been a lot more like the Abe we remember from last year. He’s helped us a bunch.”
As Francona mentioned, Almonte has been a big boost to the Indians outfield over the past couple weeks, especially considering the fact that Michael Brantley has officially been shelved for the remainder of the season. He is extremely grateful that the club has given him another opportunity and he has taken full advantage of the second chance.
“This year, when I came back. They treated me like, ‘OK, here you are. We’re waiting for you and we’re still counting on you.’ I appreciated that and it made me feel really comfortable.”
Almonte may have to watch the Indians just like any other fan in the postseason1 , but it’s obvious that he will do whatever he can to help his team win the American League Central division and clinch that spot in the playoffs.
- Assuming the Indians clinch a spot [↩]