Anyone watching the Cleveland Indians minor league system over the last couple of seasons has heard about the work being done by one of the club’s top pitching prospects, Shane Bieber. His efforts have caught the attention of more than just the fans and employees of the Tribe organization.
The Columbus Clippers’ Bieber was named on Monday as the International League’s Pitcher of the Week for games played between May 14-20.
The cat was out of the bag on Sunday, when Melky Cabrera’s name showed up prior to the Cleveland Indians’ matchup with the Houston Astros in the sixth spot on the lineup card, playing right field.
The Indians formally announced prior to their game Sunday night that the 33-year-old veteran outfielder was purchased from Triple-A Columbus. Right-handed reliever Evan Marshall was optioned to Columbus, while fellow right-hander Alexi Ogando was designated for assignment at Triple-A to make room on the 40-man roster for the addition of Cabrera.
The Cleveland Indians and reliever Matt Belisle have reunited on a minor league deal, the team announced on Wednesday.
Belisle was a late addition to the Tribe roster in the spring, joining the club on a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation to Cactus League play. He won a bullpen job out of camp, but he was designated for assignment by the Indians on May 2 after appearing in eight games for the Tribe. He was granted his free agency after declining his outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus following passing through waivers unclaimed.
The Indians waited and waited and waited some more, but finally on Tuesday afternoon, they could wait no longer for Bradley Zimmer‘s injuries to heal up.
The Tribe officially placed their starting center fielder on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to May 12, with a left rib contusion. The injury was the end result of a collision with the wall at Yankee Stadium two Saturdays ago. He had missed six games and had two off days since the ill-fated wall encounter, but has still experienced discomfort while swinging. After missing the finale of the series with the Yankees, he played in the second of two games in Milwaukee against the Brewers, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout on May 9. After Thursday’s off day, he missed the entire series against the Kansas City Royals and the opener of the current series with the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
Both players had the ability to refuse the assignment, per Article XX(D) of the collective bargaining agreement. Belisle has accrued far more than the minimum five years of Major League service time required to refuse an outright, and Beliveau (with just over two years of service time) had been previously outrighted during his career.
Beliveau accepted his assignment and will remain with the organization. He will report to Columbus and hope that the Indians will call upon him again at some point in the season. Belisle, however, has elected free agency.
The steadily evolving bullpen for the Cleveland Indians will be down an arm on Sunday, as the team optioned right-hander Ben Taylor to Triple-A Columbus.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians recalled outfielder Greg Allen.
The Cleveland Indians were dealt a worst case scenario in game one of their doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, as not only did they have to go to the bullpen for five and two-thirds innings of relief in an extra inning contest, they lost one of those arms to injury.
In between game one and game two of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Indians placed right-handed reliever Nick Goody on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow injury. In a flurry of roster moves, Cleveland purchased the contract of right-hander Evan Marshall from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. To create space on the 40-man roster for Marshall, the Indians transferred righty Danny Salazar from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list.
Coming off of one of the best starts in his professional career, Adam Plutko will get an even more memorable opportunity on Thursday as he will make his first Major League start for the Indians as the 26th man for the club during the team’s doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Manager Terry Francona announced the decision on Monday night prior to the Indians game with the Texas Rangers. He will start the nightcap of the day’s double dip.
Reliever Jack Leathersich will remain in the Indians organization after being outrighted to Triple-A Columbus on Monday.
The left-handed pitcher was designated for assignment last week when Cleveland placed All-Star reliever Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain and purchased the contract of Jeff Beliveau from Columbus. To create a spot on the 40-man roster for Beliveau, Leathersich was designated.
The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Melky Cabrera have agreed to a minor league contract, according to ESPN Deportes New York’s Tenchy Rodriguez and confirmed by Jon Morosi of MLB Network and Fox Sports.
A nemesis for many years, the 33-year-old Cabrera’s contract will be official pending a physical. He is expected to report to the team’s spring training facilities in Goodyear, Arizona.
When Mike Napoli signed a minor league deal with the Indians during spring training, it was thought that he could be a valuable clubhouse presence in camp and even an insurance policy if the team needed some right-handed pop or a replacement for Yonder Alonso or Edwin Encarnacion for some reason during the year.
Instead, Napoli’s season is over, and there is a chance that his career could be, too.
Free agent moves of Major League players get the majority of attention in the offseason, but plenty of role players and other prospects still hoping for a chance at a big league pay day bounce around the country when their pro contracts come to an end. A handful of Indians farmhands were on the move over the winter, with several others still unsigned.
The Baltimore Orioles came sniffing around the Tribe’s former prospects, including snatching one up through a Rule 5 claim.