CLEVELAND, Ohio — Indians outfielder Eddie Rosario is among the players scheduled to meet with media via Zoom on Wednesday during Day 7 of spring training in Goodyear, Ariz. It should be an interesting introduction for a guy accustomed to being painted as the villain in Cleveland for so many years.
Rosario owns a .301 lifetime average with 22 homers and 47 RBI against the Indians, including a 1.031 OPS at Progressive Field. It’s enough of a track record that manager Terry Francona jokingly introduced himself to Rosario on Tuesday by saying it will be nice “not to hate you anymore.”
Laughs aside, Rosario faces the daunting task of boosting Cleveland’s outfield from the doldrums of more than a decade as one of the worst hitting groups in major league baseball. Last year, Indians outfielders combined to post a 53 weighted runs created plus (wRC+), which is 47% below league average run production. They batted a combined .191 with just 11 home runs in the 60-game season.
Rosario has a reputation as a free swinger with a history of hitting the ball out of the park. In six seasons, he averages 28 home runs and 90 RBI per 162 games. He will undoubtedly be asked whether or not there is pressure entering the season for him to turn around Cleveland’s outfield fortunes after the club signed him to a one-year deal worth a reported $8 million.
Meanwhile, training camp plods…