There’s supposed to be an announcement later this afternoon on the “status” of Grady Sizemore. I kind of have a bad feeling about this announcement…I don’t think it’s going to be good news. In the meantime, let’s look at this option with the mindset that “Sizemore will be back within a month or two.” I think we may learn it’s going to be significantly longer, but for now, I’ll stick to thinking that he’ll be ready not long after Opening Day.
I already discussed the possibility of the Indians acquiring Bobby Abreu to fill the void created by Grady Sizemore’s most recent injury. Rather than look at the mix of outfielders in camp (Ezequiel Carrera, Aaron Cunningham, Trevor Crowe, Felix Pie, Ryan Spilborghs, and Fred Lewis) I’ve decided to look at some “outside of the box” options. I figure the replacement will come from within and will come from that list; why not look at a few more creative options. Today, I look at an option a bit closer to home.
Convert Jason Donald to an outfielder
Since Donald hopes to make the roster as a super-utility type, it sounds as if the Indians planned to have him play some outfield this spring anyway. Why not let him call the outfield home for at least the start of the season?
Some of the pros and cons:
- Donald came through the minors as a shortstop and has pretty much played infield most of his career. Would moving him to the outfield be an absolute disaster? (Think Ryan Garko and Luis Valbuena). While his bat may be up to par, will his defense hurt the team?
- With Donald, you don’t have to take on additional salary or surrender a prospect.
- A wrist injury during Spring Training put a damper on his season, but once he returned he put up good numbers. He hit .318/.364/.402 with one home run at the Major League level, and .310/.397/.448 with 4 home runs at Triple-A Columbus.
- If Sizemore is able to return, Donald can move to a utility role with the team.
This is a nice option in the sense that it will get Donald some at-bats and doesn’t cost the Indians any additional money or prospects. My only concern is his defensive skills in the outfield – he may be fine, or he may look like Luis Valbuena. At least Donald is probably able to cover a decent amount of ground (unlike an aging Bobby Abreu). If he can put up the offensive numbers that he did late last season, I’d like to see Donald find a spot on the roster. If it takes some creativity to get him into the lineup, he might as well make an attempt at filling in for Sizemore in the outfield.