The Indians announced this morning that they’ve optioned struggling center fielder Oscar Mercado to their alternate training site. A corresponding move has yet to be announced but will come before tomorrow’s game.
Mercado becomes the third notable Indians player to be sent down in the past week, although his circumstances are different. Unlike demoted right-handers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, who were sent down after angering teammates and club officials by breaking Covid-19 protocols, Mercado’s trip to the alternate site looks to be purely driven by his on-field struggles. The 25-year-old finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting last season but has gotten out to a woeful .111/.167/.111 start through 48 plate appearances in 2020.
Entering the season, Mercado appeared to be the lone lock amid an otherwise jumbled outfield picture. Cleveland had Delino DeShields Jr., Jordan Luplow, Tyler Naquin, Jake Bauers, Bradley Zimmer, Greg Allen, Domingo Santana and