Indians Option Edwards, Announce Release of Martin
Bob Toth | On 27, Jun 2019
Thursday was an off day for the Indians, but it was business as usual in the front office as the team announced that reliever Jon Edwards’ fifth stint with the club this season had come to an end with his option to Triple-A Columbus. In a separate move, Leonys Martin, designated for assignment on June 22, was given his release from the organization.
Edwards’ move back to Columbus was no surprise, as he was brought up as an additional bullpen arm when Aaron Civale was optioned to Columbus on June 24. Edwards, a 31-year-old right-hander, did not make an appearance during this stay and has not pitched for the Indians since June 6, when he worked two-thirds of a scoreless inning against the Minnesota Twins.
On the year, Edwards is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP with five strikeouts and six walks in eight innings of work for the Indians.
The move of Edwards back to the minors opens up a roster spot for starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, who will be activated by the Indians on Friday from the 10-day injured list to start in the club’s series opener in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Martin was designated for assignment last Saturday as outfield playing time was becoming scarce with the success of last month’s call-up, Oscar Mercado, and the return of Tyler Naquin to the roster from his injured list stay. Furthermore, ongoing success at Triple-A by slugging prospect Bobby Bradley added further speculation that the Indians would need to free up some roster space to bring up the mashing first baseman from the minors.
Martin’s effort and hustle in the field had recently come under fire (highlighted by a dugout argument with Francisco Lindor on June 14 in Texas) and his results at the plate were lackluster at best as the 31-year-old and ninth-year MLBer scuffled to a .199/.276/.343 slash at the plate with seven doubles, nine homers, 19 RBI, and just four stolen bases in nine attempts.
Martin was playing for the Indians on a one-year, $3 million deal agreed to last October as the two sides avoided arbitration in the final year of his contract. He was acquired from the Detroit Tigers last season in a trade deadline deal with minor league reliever Kyle Dowdy for infield prospect Willi Castro. Martin played just six games for Cleveland in 2018 before missing the remainder of the season dealing with a life-threatening bacterial infection.
“Difficult move for us organizationally with all we’ve been through with Leonys,” said Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti when Martin was designated for assignment last Saturday, “but at this point we felt that it was the right thing to do for our team. We’ve got a lot of moving parts right now and expect there to be some forthcoming moves that will re-balance our roster over the next few days. Unfortunately, Leonys has just had a really difficult time getting going offensively. We feel that there are guys that are capable and have earned some more of those at bats and that kind of led to the decision. He played a fine center field. It may not have been to the caliber that he had played it in years past. Overall, on balance, that wasn’t the issue. It was more on the offensive side.”
Photo: Carlos Osario/AP Photo