With ten days until the start of the regular season, the Cleveland Indians made their biggest camp cuts of the spring on Monday as eleven players were optioned, reassigned, or released by the club. The moves lowered the team’s spring training population at the Goodyear complex from 50 residents to 39.
Most of the moves were expected, but a pair were much more significant to the makeup of things come March 29 when the season kicks off. Yandy Diaz and prospects Eric Haase and Eric Stamets were optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Offseason additions Brandon Barnes, Preston Claiborne, Stephen Fife, and Neil Ramirez, in addition to returning minor leaguers Cameron Hill and Richie Shaffer, were reassigned to minor league camp. Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan and outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. were given their releases from their previously agreed upon minor league deals to search for jobs elsewhere.
Diaz and Upton were the most significant moves of the day.
The big league diamonds in Goodyear, Arizona, got a little less crowded on Monday as the Cleveland Indians announced several roster moves with just over two weeks to go until their regular season kicks off in Seattle.
Five players – Abraham Almonte, Francisco Mejia, Julian Merryweather, Shawn Morimando, and Adam Plutko – were optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Four more – Bobby Bradley, Louis Head, Josh Martin, and Adam Wilk – were reassigned to minor league camp. The most notable names of the nine, however, were those of Almonte and Mejia.
With less than three weeks to go until the start of the Major League Baseball regular season schedule, the Indians have started to trim away at the long list of camp candidates in Goodyear, Arizona, looking for a job with Cleveland.
The Indians optioned infielders Willi Castro and Yu-Cheng Chang to Double-A Akron on Friday prior to the team’s action against the Colorado Rockies. Right-handed pitcher Cole Sulser, left-hander Robert Zarate, and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez were also re-assigned to minor league camp.
The Cleveland Indians added a little catching depth to the farm system on Monday when it signed 37-year-old backstop Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Hanigan spent last season with the Colorado Rockies, splitting time between the parent club and their Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.
When the Indians reunited once again with Michael Martinez on a free agent contract in the offseason, there were some concerns about what role, if any, the 35-year-old could have with the club this coming season.
In the ideal situation, he would have only been seen in the case of a significant injury to one of the Tribe’s infielders or utility men. Instead, a major injury and the surgery to correct it will knock Martinez out for the majority of the coming season before it even begins.
The guest list for the Cleveland Indians at spring training next month grew by two more names on Monday as the team announced that left-handed pitcher Adam Wilk and catcher Jack Murphy have agreed to minor league deals with the club.
The pair of newest members to the organization increases the Tribe’s total number of non-roster invitees heading to Goodyear, Arizona, in February to 19.
While plenty of focus has been given to the big name free agents departing the Cleveland Indians organization this offseason, there has been plenty of movement down on the farm for the club’s minor league free agent class.
The names are nowhere near as big as Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, and Joe Smith, who have all signed lucrative contracts in Philadelphia, Colorado, and Houston, respectively, nor are they as big as Jay Bruce, who is still testing the free agent waters while waiting for the right deal, but the moves cut into some of the existing depth in the team’s minor league system.
The Cleveland Indians’ season may be over and the World Series nearly half way complete, but competitive baseball continues to be played at spots across the globe.
Eight different Tribe prospects are in Glendale, Arizona, working in Arizona Fall League play. Four more have headed to South America to work in the Venezuelan Winter League, while nine more have taken up temporary residence in the Caribbean while participating in the Dominican Winter League.
Three different Tribe position prospects and six pitchers are scattered throughout the six-team Liga de Beisbol Dominicano.
The 2017 calendar was injury-plagued for Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer and his most recent setback has resulted in the need for surgery.
The Indians announced on Monday evening that the 31-year-old outfielder will undergo left wrist surgery on Wednesday, October 11, in Scottsdale, Arizona, to repair an extensor tendon in his wrist. A time table for rehabilitation will be established after the surgical procedure.
Six members total between the Akron RubberDucks and Columbus Clippers earned the honor of playing in their respective league’s All-Star Games this week and several took advantage of the opportunity on a big stage to shine.
The International League faced off with the Pacific Coast League on Wednesday night from Tacoma, Washington. A four-run fourth inning by the PCL All-Stars would prove to be too much for the IL squad to overcome in a 6-4 contest. Columbus’ Richie Shaffer was one of the players to best utilize his time as his performance for the losing squad earned him the league’s All-Star Game MVP award.
All-Star games are the theme of the week as one day after Major League Baseball hosted its annual Midsummer Classic and several days after top prospects united for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, both the International League and the Eastern League will play their respective games on Wednesday night.
The Indians’ top farm affiliate, the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, have just two representatives in Tacoma, Washington, for the Triple-A All-Star Game between the best of the International League and the Pacific Coast League. Richie Shaffer received the early invitation through voting, but middle infielder Eric Stamets was also asked to participate as a reserve.
The Cleveland Indians bullpen depth took a hit on Saturday as minor league right-hander Joe Colon was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
Colon tested positive for the banned selective Androgen receptor modulator LDG-4022. It marks the second consecutive season that Colon’s work will be limited due to a failed drug test. He missed the first 50 games of the 2016 season after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.