The heavily damaged outfield of the Indians has finally returned to full health, as Cleveland activated Tyler Naquin from the 10-day disabled list on Friday afternoon. In a corresponding move, the Indians placed first baseman Yonder Alonso on the Family Medical Emergency list.
The original plan for the Indians was to option outfielder Greg Allen to Triple-A Columbus, but his stay in Cleveland has been extended a few more days while the club waits for Alonso to rejoin the team.
Naquin’s return finally clears the Tribe’s DL of the last of four outfielders who were simultaneously on the list. Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Brandon Guyer have all been activated from inactivity since the beginning of the month, with the latter two remaining on the roster while Zimmer was returned to Triple-A.
“Naquin’s back, he’s going to play center. We were going to option Greg Allen back to Triple-A,” shared Tribe manager Terry Francona prior to Friday’s game. “But today, Yonder, he has a family emergency going on, so we put him on the three-day [Family Medical Emergency List]…we wanted to give him a couple days to take care of what he needs to. So we told Greg he’d stay here with us, so he kind of knows the situation. So that’s kind of where we’re at, roster-wise.”
Naquin had been out since May 12 while dealing with a left hamstring strain, suffered running out a double the previous day against the Kansas City Royals. The timing of the injury could not have been more untimely for the 27-year-old outfielder, who was in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak to open the month of May.
Regularly seeing his name in the lineup, Naquin was one of the Indians’ top hitters when he went down with the hamstring issue, hitting .333 (25-for-75) with three doubles, two homers, and eleven RBI on the season through 30 games. Naquin, however, has walked just three times and struck out 21 in 79 total plate appearances.
The left-handed hitter is in the starting lineup for the Indians on Friday night in their game against the Minnesota Twins, slotted in the lineup in center field.
Allen, the switch-hitting 25-year-old outfielder, has appeared in 32 games for the Indians so far this season, hitting just .206 with a .250 on-base percentage and a .304 slugging mark with three doubles, two triples, a homer, and three RBI while stealing four bases in four opportunities. Thrust into heavy playing time with the extensive amount of injuries to outfielders, he performed well in May, hitting .273 in 19 games.
Since going 2-for-3 in the first game of June, Allen has fallen into a tough slump at the dish. Over his last ten games, he has gone just 1-for-32 (.031) at the plate with a single, two walks, and 12 strikeouts. In the few times that he reached base, he was a threat with the foot, successfully stealing three bases in three chances.
Alonso has to spend a minimum of three days on the Family Medical Emergency list and can remain out of action for seven before activation. The 31-year-old has appeared in 65 games for the Tribe this season, slashing .248/.323/.446 with eleven doubles, eleven homers, and 37 RBI.
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