Indians Make Slew of Roster Moves Prior to Second Half Kickoff
Bob Toth | On 20, Jul 2018
After acquiring a pair of new relief arms to shore up their problematic bullpen, the Cleveland Indians announced a handful of transactions in advance of their second half opener with the Texas Rangers on Friday.
Relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, acquired on Thursday from the San Diego Padres for top prospect Francisco Mejia, were added to the 25- and 40-man rosters. The Indians also announced that minor leaguer Yandy Diaz was recalled from Columbus, while the contract of outfielder Melky Cabrera was selected from Triple-A for the second time this season.
In order to create the final 40-man roster spot needed for the new additions, the Indians have transferred outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall to the 60-day disabled list. Outfielder Greg Allen and pitchers Tyler Olson and Adam Plutko were optioned to Columbus to create space on the 25-man roster.
Cabrera rejoins the Indians lineup after appearing in 17 games for the club earlier in the year, hitting .207 with five doubles and eleven RBI. The soon-to-be 34-year-old re-signed with the club at the beginning of the month and reported back to Columbus. He previously worked there in May to get ready for his season after signing with the club for the first time at the end of April.
In his nine games back at Triple-A, he hit .361 with a .395 on-base percentage with a pair of doubles and a triple while driving in four runs. He is in his 14th Major League season and has also spent time with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, and Chicago White Sox.
Diaz may have been a surprise call-up for some, as playing time at either of his primary positions this season is limited. The 26-year-old has worked in 62 games at third base and 10 games at first base this year at Columbus. He did log some work in left field last season for both Cleveland and Columbus and he has previously spent time in right field in 2016.
Offensively, he has had a strong season at the plate, but he has primarily served as a singles machine. In 81 total games for the Clippers, he has put up a .284/.415/.375 slash with 20 doubles, two homers, and 27 RBI. He has walked as many times as he has struck out (63). Fifty-nine of his 81 hits (72.8%) have been base hits.
Diaz appeared in 49 games for the Indians last season, hitting .263 with eight doubles, one triple, and 13 RBI.
Hand and Cimber have both joined the Indians in Arlington for the Tribe’s game against the Texas Rangers. The left-hander Hand will debut in the number 33, while the submarine right-hander Cimber will take the mound in the number 90, becoming the first player to wear the number in a regular season game for the Indians.
Allen, Olson, and Plutko return to Columbus, where they will await their next call-ups.
Allen has worked in 45 games this season around several trips back and forth between Cleveland and Columbus. He has hit .209 with four doubles, two triples, one homer, and five RBI while stealing six bases in six attempts while with the Indians.
Olson has had a tough season and also had to deal with injury. He has appeared in 30 games and worked in 18 innings, but has allowed 15 earned runs and four home runs. He has struck out 24 batters in his time on the mound, but has walked eight while posting a 7.50 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He rejoined the club earlier this month from his stint on the DL.
Plutko has made six starts and two relief appearances for the Indians this season, posting a 4-2 record with one save, a 4.87 ERA, and a 1.28 WHIP. He has been recalled and optioned by the Tribe four different times this season. During his time in the minors, he has made ten starts for the Clippers, going 5-3 with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP in 65 innings of work.
In another bit of roster business, the return of Marc Rzepczynski to Cleveland has come to a quick end. After making five scoreless appearances for the club, he was designated for assignment on July 11 when Olson was activated from the disabled list. He cleared waivers unclaimed and was outrighted to Columbus, but he has instead elected to become a free agent.
In five appearances (two and two-thirds innings), he did not allow a run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Including his 18 games of action with the Seattle Mariners this season, he has a 0-1 record with a 6.97 ERA and a 2.52 WHIP in 23 games in 2018.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images