Since returning from the minors, Cleveland Indians outfielder Jordan Luplow has been making a strong case to play every day in a struggling offensive lineup.
Although it has come in minimal playing time, Luplow has been one of the more productive hitters in the Indians outfield recently. In his last seven games alone he has a .333/.346/.833 slash line with four homers and six RBIs.
That would make him an above average hitter at least, on a team whose best hitter is only hitting .277 (Carlos Santana). What is more exciting is that over the month of May as a whole, in 36 at bats, Luplow is still hitting above .300 at .306.
With Tyler Naquin heading to the injured list for at least a few weeks before he can return it opens up a great opportunity for Luplow to show what he can do by playing every day.
Another option is to platoon both Luplow and Oscar Mercado in right field and see which one of them sticks, as when Naquin and Bradley Zimmer make their returns someone will be sent down.
If Luplow could keep hitting the way he has been over the last few weeks however, it would provide more than just the benefit of him being on base. Putting a competent hitter between Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez would mean “protection” in the top of the lineup and lead to those great hitters getting better pitches to hit.
This is a model that has worked very well in the past for teams that make deep runs come October. Hopefully, Luplow is one of the keys to the Indians making another deep playoff push because great pitching can only take this team so far.