News: Manager Terry Francona suggested Sunday that Allen will likely be a reserve outfielder for the Indians to begin the season, barring any personnel changes prior to Opening Day, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. "I don't want [Tyler] Naquin and [Jake] Bauers to just be strictly platoon guys because I don't think it's healthy for them," Francona said. "...We'll see. We don't want anybody ever just sitting, but [Allen] has the ability to pinch-run, to do things like that."
Impact: Given that Bauers was the key piece the Indians acquired in the three-way deal over the winter that sent Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle, it was always likely that the 23-year-old would have an edge on a starting role in the corner outfield over Allen. It's a little more surprising that Naquin appears to have emerged as the team's preferred option in right field, which could relegate Allen to spot duty in the early going despite his strong finish to 2018 and excellent spring numbers (.364 average, 12 extra-base hits, 6-for-6 on stolen-base attempts). Allen can still provide an impact in the steals category even if limited to only a couple starts per week along with the occasional late-inning pinch-running opportunity, but the shaky playing-time outlook is harmful for his fantasy outlook nonetheless.