SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The hits just keep on coming for the Cleveland Indians, and not in a good way.
The Tribe beat the San Francisco Giants 7-1 Thursday in Cactus League play, but in the process lost outfielder Oscar Mercado to injury. The 25-year-old had to leave the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after he rolled his left wrist while diving for a fly ball.
Team officials confirm Mercado sprained the wrist, and he is currently listed as day-to-day. He will be reevaluated Friday morning when the squad returns to its spring training complex in Goodyear, Arizona.
While it is certainly possible Mercado will not miss any long period of time, an extended absence could be a mammoth blow to the Indians, who are already thin in the outfield. The club is hoping Mercado will be a stabilizing force there after he hit 15 home runs and scored 70 times as a rookie in 2019 while posting 2.2 WAR and eight defensive runs saved in 115 games.
Prior to coming out, Mercado was having a stellar day after hitting a two-run homer in the top of the fourth. He is currently 5-for-18 during exhibition play with four runs scored and three RBIs.
Cleveland has been beset by injuries this spring, with starting pitcher Mike Clevinger down until perhaps mid-April after knee surgery and new fireball reliever Emmanuel Clase (acquired in the Corey Kluber trade) out at least two months with a back strain. Outfielder Tyler Naquin is also still out after tearing his ACL last season, and pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Aaron Civale were also briefly hurt. However, the latter two have since returned and appear to be on track to make the Opening Day rotation.
The Tribe will open up the 2020 regular season on March 26 at Progressive Field against the Detroit Tigers.