CLEVELAND: An unforeseen circumstance delayed a tough decision for the Indians in the spring, but barring another surprise, that situation is again looming.

The Indians have one spot on their active roster for a utility infielder and two talented players from which to choose. The problem is that both Giovanny Urshela and Erik Gonzalez are out of options, meaning one would either need to be traded or pass through waivers to be sent to Triple-A.

The Indians were given some additional time to see how things play out when Urshela hit the disabled list with a strained hamstring, retroactive to March 26, to start the season. That put Gonzalez on the active roster and kept Urshela within the organization. Urshela was then sent on a rehab assignment on April 13, starting the 20-day clock before a roster move must be made.

That means that by May 3, the Indians will have to make a decision regarding that roster spot, barring another injury. At Triple-A, Urshela has hit .238 with two doubles and a .606 OPS in 22 at-bats. The Indians are giving him as much time as they can.

“We’re trying to let him play a little bit more because we do have to make a decision, one that we know is going to hurt a little bit,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “So we’re just kind of letting him play. He hasn’t swung the bat to the point where you’re like, ‘OK, let’s do something.’ Guess we all figure the more he plays, it gives us time to make a decision.”

The Biebs

Aside from the utility infielder spot, the Indians will have to make a roster move on May 3 when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in a doubleheader after inclement weather postponed games on April 14 and 15. Both teams will be able to add a 26th player to the active roster for that day.

The Indians will likely call up a pitcher to ease the burden of that day on the staff. They have a number of options, one of which could be Shane Bieber, the No. 11 prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline.

Last season, Bieber posted a 2.48 ERA in 54⅓ innings for the RubberDucks. He’s been dynamite this season, currently holding a 1.04 ERA with 28 strikeouts and zero walks in 26 innings.

“They really think this kid’s got a chance to be special,” Francona said of the report on Bieber. “For a young kid, you talk about routines and things. Those are things, normally they come last. You see stuff or the way a guy pitches. They say he’s kinda beyond his years with those types of things. So it’s kind of cool to see. The only time I’ve really been around him is that fall development thing. I know they really rave about him.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com.