The Indians suffered a potentially severe blow on Friday when Outfield player Tyler Naquin was removed on a cart after making a catch on the outfield wall (video via Dawn Klemish from MLB.com). It was heralded as a sprain of the right knee, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times Tweets but that's just a preliminary assessment.
Manager Terry Francona told Klemish and others after the game, what the Indians lost with 0: 4, that it is too early to play "doctor". Francona, however, added that "It did not look good and we are very worried." [1
Naquin's output this year was worth 1.4 fWAR, which precedes an Indian field has not received high-end numbers from anyone. Acquisition of Trade Deadlines Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes (primarily a DH) were not all that effective until that point. Rookie Oscar Mercado has slowed down significantly from an encouraging start. Greg Allen neither met nor Jake Bauer's (which was in the minors all month). Worse, Jordan Luplow – the most prolific hitter among Indian outfield players this year – has been in the IL since August 5, with a tense Achilles tendon.
In summary, this underscores Naquin's importance to Cleveland, whose positional group suffered a massive blow last weekend when the third baseman Jose Ramirez suffered a broken hamat bone in his right hand. The club is still in possession of AL's wildcard slot after half a game, but when Naquin moves to the IL, his line-up will lose three regular contributors.