Ranking the 2015 AL Central Division Infields
By Steve Mitzel
The Indians are coming off an abysmal 2014 defensive performance. Leading the poor defensive performers were 2B Jason Kipnis and 3B Lonnie Chisenhall. The good news for the Central Division foes is that they are back this year. Kipnis will also be rehabbing a finger which he had off-season surgery. Kipnis’ plate performance in 2014 was about as bad as his fielding, hitting .240 with only 6 home runs with 41 RBIs. Chisenhall had 18 errors and continued to look lost at not only at third base but at the plate.
Jose Ramirez brings a solid glove and range to shortstop with a mediocre bat. Carlos Santana will start the season at first base and try to get comfortable at that corner after moving around last year from catcher to third base to first base. Santana will need to pick up his offensive performance as well and bring the anchor that the Indians desperately need after hitting only .231 with 27 homers and 85 RBIs. Santana’s bat showed promise in the second half of the season.
Top Tribe prospect shortstop Francisco Lindor will fight for Ramirez’s starting spot during spring and throughout the season. The Indians’ performance will dictate how much they push him. Mike Aviles provides a solid utility presence and if needed a Kipnis replacement. Brandon Moss and Nick Swisher could possibly add some depth if they can complete their rehab and comebacks from major surgeries.