Indians second baseman César Hernández has been placed on the paternity list and Yu Chang has been recalled in his place, the club announced prior to Tuesday’s game against the Cubs.
According to MLB rules, Hernández can miss tonight and up to two more games before another roster move would have to be made. That means he will miss the two-game Cubs series and the opener of the Tigers series. But more importantly, he gets to spend time with his wife and newborn child.
Even with his struggles of late, Hernández has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians as their only big addition of the offseason. He has slashed .266/.337/.383 primarily as the Tribe’s lead-off batter but recently as the No. 2 hitter.
Without the minor leagues to keep tabs on Yu Chang, it’s hard to know if he has improved his strikeout issues since his demotion last month. In his brief stint with the Tribe this season, he struck out four times in nine at-bats and his only two hits were singles.
We won’t get a chance to see Chang’s potential growth tonight, of course, because Mike Freeman will be taking Hernandez’s spot at both second base and in the two hole.
According to manager Sandy Alomar, Freeman “deserves playing time” but has not had many chances with how healthy and efficient the infield has been.
“He deserves more playing time. Unfortunately our infield doesn’t take many days off.” – Sandy Alomar on Mike Freeman