Cleveland Indians GM Chernoff on Nolan Jones, Franmil Reyes and the Starting Rotation
The Indians have played just three games into spring training in Arizona, but already there are some interesting storylines for fans to follow.
The way that the outfield and bullpen plays out, the maturation of players like Franmil Reyes, Oscar Mercado and pitchers Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac, and how offseason pickups like Cesar Hernandez and Domingo Santana play are all things fans are anxiously watching.
Wednesday Indians general manager Mike Chernoff sat with the assembled media in Goodyear to answer questions about some of the hot topics surrounding the team early into spring training.
Here’s some of the interview with Chernoff and his answers to various questions about the team.
On Adding Top Prospect Nolan Jones to the Major League Roster in Camp:
“Nolan was a late add in camp just because of some of the things that he had been dealing with last season.
“I think there were a lot of questions when he first arrived out of high school, he’s put in a huge amount of work and he’s put in major strides defensively over there.”
“For us we want to get any young player comfortable in the environment,” Chernoff said. “It is great to see a guy come in with a great approach.”
On Recent Roster Addition Domingo Santana, What He Brings and the Outfield as a Whole:
“We have nine guys right now, we will have to make some decisions,” Chernoff said of the outfield.
“We felt Domingo was a great complement to the group that we had, and has added a dynamic that we didn’t necessarily have just in terms of that right-handed power.”
“Interesting power bat that we felt could complement our group very well.”
On Franmil Reyes, His Raw Power and How Hard He Worked This Offseason to Improve:
“He and I had similar physical qualities, so I am use to this,” Chernoff joked about Reyes’ power.
“It’s great to see, he really worked hard this offseason, cutting some weight and adding some versatility defensively, the first three days of spring training are not going to tell us everything, it is obviously great to see good things out of those first three days and that the work he’s put in is beginning to pay off.”
“I think it’s a real credit to the work he’s put in, and we need that right-handed power, so the ability to add that is huge for Tito and our lineup,” Chernoff said.
On the Strength of the Rotation Despite Trading Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber Over the Last Six Months:
“It’s tough when you take away guys like Kluber and Bauer from our rotation, but we felt really strong about the depth that we have in our system to fill that rotation,” Chernoff said.
“Obviously what (Shane) Bieber, and (Mike) Clev(inger), and (Carlos) Carrasco have shown these guys are top of the rotation starters. We felt really good about the core group that we have.”
“The things that we saw last year, (Zach) Plesac and (Aaron) Civale and (Adam) Plutko and guys that we got like Jefry Rodriguez and Logan Allen, there’s even guys that we haven’t really talked about, guys like Scott Moss who we brought over from Cincinnati, that we think can provide some of that additional depth for us.”
“We feel like we have plenty of potential to fill the back end of our rotation, I don’t know which guys specifically it’s going to be, but we feel really strongly about that group of guys stepping into big roles for us this year,” Chernoff said.