Indians Claim Outfielder Johnny Field Off of Waivers From Rays
Bob Toth | On 24, Jul 2018
The Cleveland Indians added to their outfield depth on Tuesday, claiming Johnny Field off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 26-year-old rookie spent just ten games at Triple-A Durham at the start of the year before getting his first call-up to the Majors, taking over for the traded Jeremy Hazelbaker in mid-April. He worked in 62 games for the Rays until he was designated for assignment on July 20 (to make room for former Tribe catcher Adam Moore), putting up a .213/.253/.373 slash with nine doubles, six homers, and 14 RBI. He was also 4-for-4 stealing bases on the season.
Field was used sparingly in April, but saw action more consistently from the middle of May until the final week of June, when his appearances were limited more to pinch-hitting/running ventures and work as a late inning defensive replacement after Kevin Kiermaier was activated from the 60-day disabled list. In 21 games in May (including 19 starts), he put up a strong .271/.292/.500 slash at the plate with four doubles, four homers, and seven RBI in 73 plate appearances, but he also struck out 17 times while walking just once. In 23 June dates (16 starts), his numbers dropped off as he put up a .172/.226/.276 line with three doubles, a homer, four RBI, and 27 strikeouts against three walks for the month.
He is capable of playing all three outfield spots. His numbers have been more favorable following traditional platoon splits, as he has put up a .267/.302/.483 line with four doubles, three homers, and six RBI with 18 strikeouts in 63 plate appearances against left-handers. Against righties, the right-handed hitter has hit .183/.226/.312 with five doubles, three homers, and eight RBI with 40 strikeouts in 116 plate appearances.
Field had spent his entire career in the Rays organization after being selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Arizona. By 2015, he had progressed to Double-A ball in the Southern League, where he showed some extra base ability with the Montgomery Biscuits. He split 2016 with Montgomery and Durham and spent all of 2017 at the Triple-A level, hitting 35 doubles and 12 homers while driving in 57 runs. He owns a career triple slash of .270/.320/.436 in 190 games over parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level.
The Indians optioned Field to Triple-A. He has two minor league option years available after this season.
In a corresponding roster move to make room for Field on the 40-man roster, the Indians transferred left-handed reliever Andrew Miller from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list. It is not expected to extend his current absence any further, as he has not pitched for the Indians since May 25.
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