CLEVELAND: It’s been a rough start to the season for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, one that got even tougher Monday when he was demoted to Triple-A Columbus.
Chisenhall hit .400 in spring training but has struggled since the season began, hitting .213 with three walks and 22 strikeouts, and is hitting just .091 against left-handed pitchers.
To make matters worse, Indians officials had become concerned that Chisenhall’s defense was suffering because of his offensive woes. Chisenhall went 0-for-9 in the three-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers and committed a throwing error in Sunday’s game.
“We gave him two days off last week because he was kind of struggling,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But [in Detroit] I felt like the outcome of his at-bats were starting to affect his play [in the field] and he even kind of admitted it.”
With veteran Mark Reynolds able to play third base and the versatile Mike Aviles available on the bench, Chisenhall has time to go to Columbus to work on his offense and to get his confidence back.
“This guy is such a building block in the organization,” Francona said. “This is not an indictment on him. He’s going to figure it out and he’s going to be a force here. I just think it’s better for him right now to be able to take a deep breath, get some at-bats and get himself rolling. Then you’ll see him back here leaning on some fastballs.”
MORE MOVES — Left-handed reliever David Huff and right-handed starter Trevor Bauer were called up before Monday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees.
Major-league rules permit teams to carry a 26th player on the roster for doubleheaders. Bauer served that role, and he’s expected to return to Columbus after making his third spot start of the season for the Indians.
Huff, 28, will likely remain with the Indians until setup man Vinnie Pestano (sore right elbow) comes off the disabled list.
With the Clippers, Huff was 3-1 with a 4.07 ERA in nine games (two starts). In 24⅓ innings, Huff has 28 strikeouts and nine walks.
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF — Jeff Passan, a major-league baseball columnist for Yahoo Sports, tweeted: “Heard this same thing from two scouts: Indians SS Francisco Lindor, 19, may well be the best prospect in baseball by the end of this season.”
Lindor, the Tribe’s No. 1 pick (eighth overall) in the 2011 draft is batting .331 with seven doubles, four triples, a home run and 14 RBI at high Class-A Carolina.
— Stephanie Storm