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Tribe Acquires Reliever Hoyt from Astros for Prospect DeJuneas

Tribe Acquires Reliever Hoyt from Astros for Prospect DeJuneas

| On 07, Jul 2018

The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday that the organization had acquired right-handed reliever James Hoyt from the Houston Astros for minor league pitcher Tommy DeJuneas.

Hoyt, an undrafted 31-year-old out of Centenary College of Louisiana and Palomar College in San Marcos, California, has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Houston Astros. He worked in 22 games during the 2016 season, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. He spent 43 games on the mound in relief for the club during their championship season last year, posting a 1-0 record with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP with 66 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He was not part of the postseason roster.

A strikeout specialist and a 6’6” hurler, he had made just one appearance for the club this season, allowing a hit and a walk in one-third of an inning after being recalled on April 10. He was sidelined during spring training with a strained oblique, but was optioned back to Triple-A Fresno on April 18 with left-hander Tony Sipp returning from the 10-day disabled list.

Hoyt is an interesting tale of success in the professional game. He quit baseball after college due to injury. After spending time scrubbing boats to make ends meet, he eventually tried out for independent baseball, pitching for Yuma and Edinburg of the North American League and Wichita of the American Association before moving on to Tabasco of the Mexican League. There, he caught the eye of the Atlanta Braves, which signed him to a minor league deal at 26.

He spent two years in their farm system, reaching the Triple-A level in 2014, before he was packaged with catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis in a trade with the Astros in January of 2015. He debuted late in the 2016 season as a 29-year-old rookie. He is a fastball/sinker/slider specialist who has averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings at the Major League level (94 in 71 2/3 innings) and 12.3 on the farm (392 in 288 innings). He has worked heavily late in games at the Triple-A level, ranking second all-time in Fresno history with 47 career saves.

Hoyt will report to Triple-A Columbus, where he will provide the Indians with an additional depth arm for the Major League bullpen. According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, the veteran has one option year remaining beyond this season.

DeJuneas, a 22-year-old right-handed reliever, was in his second season in the Indians organization after being selected in the 26th round of the 2017 draft out of North Carolina State University.

A 6’1” right-hander, he opened his second season and first full campaign with the Indians organization with the Class-A Lake County Captains. Prior to the trade, he had appeared in 20 games, posting a 2-2 record in 29 1/3 innings of work with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts. A good first half to his season earned him a midseason Midwest League All-Star nod, the first of his professional career, but he did not play in the game due to injury.

After signing his first pro contract with the Indians last summer, he reported to the club’s Arizona League affiliate, where he worked in 17 games in relief, losing three decisions while posting a 2.42 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP with 34 strikeouts and 15 walks in 26 innings of work.

DeJuneas will report to Single-A Quad Cities, where he will pitch out of the River Bandits bullpen.

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

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