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.

5 Comments

  • joeybiz says:

    just a thought… it boggles my mind that when we draft these kids…they make them switch positions…i do understand that sometimes u have to find a position for a guy that can hit,but cant field(example HAFNER,OR BACK IN THE DAY MANNY)…really kipnis could be in the outfield and donald at second…santana exclusivly at 1st…anyway thats not gonna happen…grady will be back in june,but if i was a betting man,and the tribe is serious about contending this year…they will/must make a trade before camp ends.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    On the surface Kipnis (a converted OF) makes sense as the temporary LF but he’s too valuable to mess with a back and forth. Donald apparently acquitted himself well as an OF during a stint in the offseason and could be a solution if he hits as he did last year.

    Stephanie makes a good point in that Donald reduces the roster juggling, doesn’t cost money/prospects and may open an additional spot for another bat if one of the other candidates shows a good spring. Don’t overreact and save the trade for later in the season, if needed.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I get kind of tired of the position shifting too, especially with Garko. I know that you want to make him more versatile, but it just wasn’t working. There was one game I remember that he looked so painfully awkward in the outfield, yet Mark DeRosa was playing first. Just let Garko play first where he’s more comfortable…DeRosa could play anywhere!

    I feel like they should consider a trade, but also be patient about it. A better deal may pop up later in Spring Training, or even after the season starts.

  • Justin says:

    Or we could give Russ Canzler a shot. I mean the guy is the reigning AAA MVP and at only 25 could be ready to break through.

  • medfest says:

    The Diamondbacks might be interested in dealing Parra for a lefthander in the pen(Sipp?) after signing Kubel.