Chisenhall out to make Tribe's decision tough

Chisenhall out to make Tribe's decision tough

Chisenhall out to make Tribe's decision tough
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians prospect Lonnie Chisenhall understands that no matter how well he is swinging the bat right now, eight Spring Training games are not going to change the organization's mind about where he will begin this season.

Chisenhall might be hitting .550 in Cactus League play at the moment, but the young third baseman is not expecting that to result in a spot on Cleveland's Opening Day roster. He has been told that he needs more development, and Triple-A Columbus is Chisenhall's likely destination.

"I'm definitely having just one of those weeks where it feels like you can't get out," Chisenhall said inside the Indians' player-development complex on Wednesday morning. "Next week, you never know, it might flip-flop on you. It's only 20 at-bats.

2010 Spring Training - null
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info

"I'd love to have it at the beginning of the season, but it's in Spring Training. It doesn't really count."

What does count is the fact that Chisenhall's early hit parade has come in front of Indians manager Manny Acta and the rest of the club's Major League staff. There is a chance that Chisenhall might reach the Majors this season, so making a strong early impression is never a bad thing.

"Definitely," Chisenhall said. "Them being able to see it firsthand instead of hearing you're swinging the bat well in the Minor Leagues, for them to be able to see you and how you carry yourself on the field and stuff like that, it's a big step forward."

It has looked as though Chisenhall is trying to make it hard for the Indians to send him back to Minor League camp. Acta would not want it any other way.

"That's the way that everybody should show up to camp and approach things," Acta said.

Right now, the Indians appear to be leaning toward opening the season with Jason Donald at third base. The 22-year-old Chisenhall might look ready for the big leagues in the batter's box, but the fact remains that he has played precisely zero career innings at Triple-A.

Through eight games this spring, all Chisenhall has done is churn out 11 hits in 20 at-bats, using all fields to collect two home runs, two doubles, one triple and four RBIs. In Tuesday's loss to the D-backs, Chisenhall had four hits in his first four at-bats before grounding out to end his bid for a perfect afternoon.

The Indians are not about to abandon their plans for Chisenhall just because he has enjoyed one exceptionally strong week in Spring Training, though.

"He hasn't changed my mind," Acta said. "We like him. We love him. He's going to be part of our team at some point."