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Indians Bring in Reinforcements from Columbus as Rosters Expand

Indians Bring in Reinforcements from Columbus as Rosters Expand

| On 02, Sep 2016

The Cleveland Indians announced a handful of transactions on Thursday afternoon as the club took advantage of the September roster expansions.

The easy and expected moves were the activation of starting pitcher Danny Salazar from the paternity list and the formal addition of outfielder Coco Crisp after his acquisition from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

The Indians added additional depth at the catching position with Yan Gomes on the 60-day disabled list by purchasing the contract of backstop Adam Moore from Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the 40-man roster for the seven-year MLB veteran, the Indians designated outfielder Collin Cowgill for assignment.

Cleveland also announced that relievers Cody Anderson and Joseph Colon and utility man Erik Gonzalez had been recalled from Columbus.

Moore spent his season at Triple-A, making 75 starts behind the plate for the Clippers while posting a .995 fielding percentage. He appeared in 86 games in total, hitting .247 with 14 doubles, seven homers, and 31 RBI.

This season was his second in the Indians organization. He appeared in one game last season after being called up last September, getting a single and an RBI in four at bats. The 32-year-old was a sixth round draft pick in 2006 by Seattle and has appeared in the Majors with the Mariners, Royals, and Padres.

After starting the season in the Indians starting rotation, Anderson’s season became dominated by travel between Columbus and Cleveland. He was demoted to Triple-A at the end of April, but was recalled by Cleveland twice in May, once in June, and twice in July. He also spent three weeks on the disabled list at Columbus with right elbow tightness.

The 25-year-old right-hander has been working strictly as a reliever of late with Columbus and looking good in the process. In seven appearances, he earned a save while posting a 1.23 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP, and a .185 batting average against while striking out ten and walking one in seven and one-third innings. As a starter in Columbus, he was 0-2 in six starts with a 4.32 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, and a .265 batting average against.

He was 1-3 with a 7.65 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in eight starts and 1-1 with a  5.23 ERA and 1.35 in five relief appearances while with Cleveland.

Colon’s arm should be well rested after a delayed start to his season. After serving a 50-game suspension, the 26-year-old joined the Clippers and was 0-1 with a 0.59 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP in 13 appearances while limiting opposing hitters to a .083 average. He was added to Cleveland’s roster in early July and was 0-1 in three outings (three and two-thirds innings) with a 2.45 ERA before he landed on the disabled list.

He was activated and optioned back to Columbus, where he continued to shut down opposing hitters. In seven outings, he had a 1.35 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and a .182 batting average against.

Colon is in his seventh season of work in the Indians organization after resigning with the club as a minor league free agent in the offseason. He was the club’s 12th round pick in the 2009 draft.

Gonzalez was used sparingly when he was added to the roster in mid-July after a strong first half with the Clippers that led to a trip to the International League All-Star Game. The 25-year-old, in his eighth season in the organization, appeared in ten games for the Indians but registered just nine at bats while making one start and playing at second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

He hit .296 with a .328 on-base percentage and .420 slugging percentage prior to his call-up, hitting 22 doubles, a triple, and six home runs while driving in 39 through his first 81 games. After being optioned back to Columbus, he worked almost exclusively as a shortstop while appearing in 23 games, hitting .297 with a .333 OBP and .560 slugging percentage with nine doubles, five homers, and 14 RBI.

More moves may be made as the minor league playoffs run their course. Set to start their postseason next week, the Clippers could send several more arms to Cleveland to help provide bullpen depth or even starting rotation depth in the case of an emergency. One of those arms, right-hander Shawn Armstrong, is expected to be recalled to Cleveland from Single-A Lake County after the completion of the Captains season on Monday afternoon.

Other potential arms to consider for recall later into September include left-handers Kyle Crockett and T.J. House and right-hander Austin Adams. Starting pitchers Ryan Merritt, Shawn Morimando, or even Adam Plutko could be considered, but Plutko would require a 40-man roster move and the high number of innings pitched by all three could be of concern to the Indians, who will keep an eye on the future while also looking to make their present roster better and more versatile.

Position players who seem increasingly unlikely to be added are utility man Yandy Diaz, the International League’s Rookie of the Year, and Bradley Zimmer. Both are ineligible for the postseason (barring injury) after failing to be added prior to the September roster expansion and both have seen significant playing time this season. Zimmer was just announced as one of eight Indians players who will participate in the Arizona Fall League following the season, further decreasing the likelihood of a trip to Cleveland in September.

Photo: Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch