Long Shot In Tribe Camp Has A Lot To Prove To Make Team
Each week through Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and break down the players in camp for the Indians at Goodyear, Arizona and examine their potential roles for the season to come. This week, we kick off our Goodyear coverage by breaking down some of the 22 spring invitees invited to big league camp by the Tribe.
By Christian Petrila
The Indians are Lewis’s fourth team in as many years. He began his career with the San Francisco Giants in 2002, when he was drafted in the second round. He made his major league debut in 2006. Many people remember that he hit for the cycle while playing in only his 16th game. His first career home run came as a part of that cycle.
His best season was in 2008 when he hit .282 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 133 games. After a struggling 2009, he was traded by the Giants to the Toronto Blue Jays. After a poor 2010 season, hitting .262 with eight home runs, he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays and signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Reds for 2011. However, he is coming off of what is arguably his least-productive season. He hit .230 with three home runs and only 19 RBI in 81 games for Cincinnati.
Fred Lewis has plenty to prove this spring if he wants to make the Opening Day roster. While he has played some centerfield in his career, he is ideally a left fielder. At 31 years of age on Opening Day, his range is diminishing and his arm strength has always been subpar. Even with Grady Sizemore’s injury, the last thing the Indians need is another left-handed hitter who plays inconsistently.
If Lewis hits above .280 like he did in 2007 and 2008, he could very easily crack the roster. To make the team, he will have to overcome a roster full of left handed hitters already and prove he is much better option than Ryan Spilborghs, Ezequiel Carrera, Aaron Cunningham and Trevor Crowe. However, if he has a performance reminiscent to the one he had last season, he could find himself battling to stay in the Columbus outfield.
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