The injury bug has bitten the Cleveland Indians again.
Outfielder Tyler Naquin is done for the 2019 season after tearing his right ACL in the bottom of the fifth inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians placed Naquin on the 10-day injured list and recalled outfielder/first baseman Jake Bauers from Triple-A Columbus to take his roster spot.
Naquin came up with a big catch in the fifth to help keep the game scoreless for starter Shane Bieber and the Indians on Friday night. Former Tribe minor leaguer Joey Wendle launched a deep drive into the left field corner with a runner on base and two down that Naquin tracked down. After making a lunging catch for the final out of the inning, he landed awkwardly on his right knee before slamming into the side wall at Tropicana Field. He crumpled to the turf and appeared to be in significant pain. He was unable to walk off the field under his own power and he was transported from the left field corner to the Indians dugout, where he was unable to put weight on the leg when getting off of the cart.
An MRI following the game Friday revealed a tear to his right ACL. He is scheduled to follow up with team doctors on Monday and surgery will follow at a time yet to be determined. A time table for recovery and rehabilitation will be established following his surgery.
In 89 games this season for the Indians, the 28-year-old Naquin hit .288 with a .325 on-base percentage and .467 slugging mark with 19 doubles, ten homers, and 34 RBI. Naquiin missed three weeks earlier in the season while dealing with a left calf strain.
Naquin is the second offensive player lost in the last week. Two-time All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez was placed on the injured list last week after undergoing surgery on a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He, like Naquin, is lost for the remainder of the regular season. The team hopes that Ramirez will recover in time for the playoffs, but the team has to hold onto its top spot in the American League Wild Card race without two big pieces of its lineup.
The Indians have also suffered loss after loss to the pitching staff throughout the year, including IL stints by Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger, A.J. Cole, Corey Kluber, Tyler Olson, Dan Otero, Jefry Rodriguez, and Danny Salazar. Outfielder Jordan Luplow remains on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain.
Bauers began the season with the Indians after being acquired in the offseason from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade that also included the Seattle Mariners. He appeared in 100 games for Cleveland, hitting .233 with a .308 on-base percentage and a .379 slugging mark with 15 doubles, one triple, 11 homers, and 39 RBI. After the Indians acquired Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes in a three-team deal with Cincinnati and San Diego ahead of the trade deadline at the end of July, Bauers was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
Bauers appeared in 24 games for the Clippers, posting a .247/.350/.427 slash with seven doubles, three homers, and 15 RBI.
Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images