Rain delays Lindor's first big league start
Indians prospect still riding high after MLB debut
CHICAGO -- Francisco Lindor had the chance to soak everything in from the bench during the first few innings of his first game in the Major Leagues. On Monday, the Indians' shortstop watched as rain soaked Wrigley Field, forcing a postponement and delaying his first start in the big leagues.
Right now, nothing is going to get Lindor down.
"I'm blessed, even though I felt blessed before," Lindor said before Monday's game against the Cubs was called due to inclement weather. "You can't stop saying that you feel blessed."
Lindor had to wait until Sunday to get the call to the big leagues, and he had to wait until the seventh inning to get his first at-bat on baseball's biggest stage. The 21-year-old shortstop -- ranked by MLB.com as the Majors' third-best prospect before this season -- will now have to wait one more day to start a game for the Indians.
When Lindor takes his place at shortstop against the Cubs on Tuesday night, he will have a host of family and friends in the Wrigley Field stands. When he learned of his promotion from Triple-A on Saturday night, Lindor had the chance to tell his mom, girlfriend and an assortment of other relatives in person in Columbus.
Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind 48 hours for Lindor.
"It's been amazing," Lindor said.
For what was supposed to be Lindor's first start in the big leagues, Indians manager Terry Francona slotted the shortstop in the lineup as Cleveland's No. 2 hitter. Presumably, Francona will use the same lineup when the Tribe takes on Chicago on Wednesday night. Playing under National League rules, Francona said he liked the look of Lindor hitting second, rather than eighth ahead of the pitcher.
"I thought about it," Francona said. "But, I guess I reserve the right to move him at some point. But one, being a National League place, you can put a guy down at the bottom and think you're doing him a favor, but not really in front of a pitcher. This give us some balance."
On Sunday in Detroit, Lindor admitted to feeling nervous in his first at-bat in the seventh inning, when he struck out on four pitches in a pinch-hit appearance. In the ninth inning, Lindor pulled a pitch into the right-field corner at Comerica Park, but said he "didn't feel" his legs and slipped on first base, turning what looked to be a double into a single.
Asked if he still needs to work on rounding first base, Lindor laughed.
"Definitely," he said.
"I agree," Francona said with a smirk. "He was flying around that bag -- he just out-ran his legs. I laugh when guys say, 'No,' they're not nervous. I'll tell you, 'No, they're lying.'"
When Lindor arrived to Comerica Park on Sunday, he did so with long Jheri curls. Over the past several weeks, Indians players have all been shaving or buzzing their heads as a show of support for infielder Mike Aviles' young daughter, Adriana, who is battling leukemia.
On Monday, Lindor buzzed his hair short, and planned on having a ribbon symbol detailed into the back of his newly-cropped hairdo.
"I'll say, at the beginning, I was like, 'Ahh,'" Lindor said about cutting his hair. "But we're doing it for a great cause. We're doing it for a great cause and we're doing it for a teammate and his family. That's what it's all about."
Lindor hopes to be there for his teammates for the foreseeable future.
"I thank the Lord day in and day out, because I am here," he said. "I achieved one of my goals and I want to continue to achieve goals, and stay here for a very long time and win a World Series."