It’s unclear as to why the Indians placed outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. on their injured list on Monday but the veteran is off to a rough start since Major League Baseball restarted. DeShields arrived in Cleveland for summer camp just a few days ago after testing positive for the coronavirus which forced him to arrive late in preperation for the 60-game season.
Manager Terry Francona told reporters that they wouldn’t rush him back which likely means he won’t be on the opening day roster when the season begins July 24 against the Kansas City Royals.
DeShields was acquired from the Texas Rangers along with reliever Emmanuel Clase in the Corey Kluber trade last December. The return of the trade doesn’t look the greatest so far with DeShields on the injured list and Clase suspended for the entire 2020 season for using performance enhancing drugs.
Last season for Texas, the 27-year-old outfielder hit .249/.325/.347 with four home runs and 24 stolen bases in 118 games. Prior to the shutdown, DeShields was hitting .227 in 25 plate appearances in spring training.
With DeShields on the sidelines, the battle for the outfield positions becomes even more interesting for the Indians. Oscar Mercado, Franmil Reyes, and Domingo Santana appear to be locks with Jordan Luplow, Tyler Naquin, Greg Allen, Jake Bauers, Bradley Zimmer, and prospect Daniel Johnson all fighting to be on the 30-man roster for opening day.