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Indians Release Pitcher Paulino to Allow Pursuit of Opportunity in Japan

Indians Release Pitcher Paulino to Allow Pursuit of Opportunity in Japan

| On 21, May 2016

Felipe Paulino, the 32-year-old veteran right-hander signed by the Cleveland Indians to a minor league contract in the offseason, was given his release on Friday from Triple-A Columbus, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

The website indicated the move was to allow Paulino to pursue an opportunity to play in Japan.

He signed with the Indians in December as a possible depth arm after spending all of 2015 in the minor leagues. Invited to spring camp with Cleveland, he posted a 9.45 ERA, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits with eight walks and seven strikeouts over six and two-thirds innings of work. He was informed in the final week of March that he would not be making the club’s roster.

“We told Paulino that we had guys in front of him,” said manager Terry Francona on March 23. “He’s going to go to the [minors] and pitch. We told him if he wants to look around with other teams, he’s free to do that.”

The former starting pitcher was working in relief for the Indians with their Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. He had appeared in ten games for the club, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.77 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 13 innings of work. He had allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits with ten walks and five strikeouts. Three of the runs (two of them earned), three of the hits, and two of his walks were surrendered in his final two outings for the Clippers while facing the Indianapolis Indians.

Paulino missed eight days of action in late April with a strained right hamstring.

The 6’3”, 270 pound righty has been in the professional circuit since he was 19. He spent eight seasons in the Houston Astros organization, reaching the Majors briefly for five games in 2007 before returning for more regular work in 2009 and 2010.

He split the 2011 season with Colorado and Kansas City. He was limited to just 17 total games (Majors and minors combined) for the Royals organization in 2012 and 2013 before joining the Chicago White Sox for the 2014 season. He went to spring training with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, but spent the season with the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate, working exclusively as a starter.

He has appeared in 97 games at the Major League level in parts of six seasons, posting a 13-34 record with a 5.22 career ERA. Sixty-five of those appearances were in a starting role.

The transactions page of the International League’s website indicated that the Columbus Clippers had placed Paulino on the temporarily inactive list on Friday, May 20.

He is the second former big league veteran to be granted his release from the Indians farm system this week. Former Clippers outfielder Robbie Grossman, who was similarly signed to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training in December, was released on Monday and signed a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins the same day. His contract was selected by the parent club on Thursday after he appeared in just one game for their Triple-A affiliate Rochester.

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