With baseball finally returning to our lives, everyone has been on the edge of their seat, waiting to eat up as much baseball content as they possibly can…well, at least I have. One of the biggest topics people across the country are focusing on is how their team’s younger players are going to shape up. With the MLB expanding the number of players on a roster, as well as much more lenient rules on calling up and sending down players, fans should expect to see a lot of these youngsters get more playing time. For the Cleveland Indians, that doesn’t seem like it will be too much of a problem.
Yu Chang, one of Cleveland’s many utility infielders, hit two bombs earlier this week when intrasquad games began. When asked about these home runs, he showed a bit of modesty and contributed them to luck and the wind helping the balls carry. But, adding three more home runs later in the past week leads all of us to believe Yu was just being a little humble.
Yu’s power streak began by hitting one homer off Carlos Carrasco in a simulated game Monday afternoon, which came back around again Saturday when he delivered another bomb off the Tribe’s Right Hander. He then followed that up with another home run that game, followed by a home run off Zach Plesac, one off Shane “Baby” Bieber, and one more from Scott Moss.
“The guy is scary,” said Carrasco, “I’ve got two home runs from him already…it’s really good man, I can tell. He’s got some power. He’s seeing the ball really well.”
Tribe manager Terry Francona followed with some similar thoughts.
“I mean, I know at some point you don’t hit a home run every night, but I think at this point he has…I know you can’t make all of your evaluations based off of Spring Training, but I love watching our guys do well.”
We do too, Tito.
If the season started on its original date, Chang would not have been a front runner for the Tribe’s utility position. Christian Arroyo and Mike Freeman seemed to be the top candidates to share the position. But Chang’s recent show of at-bats may prove to shake up the candidacy a bit. It just goes to show that though a guy may be going through a rough patch, you can never count out these young players. One day everything could change with how they see the ball and bam, you’ve got yourself an everyday player.
“I feel very good right now.” Chang said earlier this week, “I can see the ball very clearly, at least for this week. All I want to do is keeping doing it at the same pace and work on the normal stuff.”
While the Tribe are nowhere near finalizing their Opening Day roster, it’s good to see the young guys stepping and thickening the plot. Let’s hope Chang can stir the pot a bit and create a little healthy competition in the Indians clubhouse.
Cheers Friends, Jiggy
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