The Cleveland Indians announced a handful of transactions on Thursday afternoon as the club took advantage of the September roster expansions.
The easy and expected moves were the activation of starting pitcher Danny Salazar from the paternity list and the formal addition of outfielder Coco Crisp after his acquisition from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
The Indians added additional depth at the catching position with Yan Gomes on the 60-day disabled list by purchasing the contract of backstop Adam Moore from Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the 40-man roster for the seven-year MLB veteran, the Indians designated outfielder Collin Cowgill for assignment.
A month is not nearly enough time to analyze winners and losers of Major League trades, but after more than four weeks with him on the roster, the Cleveland Indians have to be feeling pretty good about the return that they have gotten from left-hander Andrew Miller.
Miller was not the only player moved, as the Indians had to give up four players, two of whom were top prospects in the organization, in order to acquire the services of the reliever for the rest of this season and each of the next two years.
The All-Star southpaw has been everything that the Indians could have dreamed of when they pulled the trigger on the July 31 trade that brought Miller to Cleveland.
After seven seasons in the minors, right-handed reliever Perci Garner has finally gotten his call to the Majors as the Cleveland Indians announced on Wednesday afternoon that they had purchased his contract from Triple-A Columbus.
In a pair of corresponding moves, right-hander Shawn Armstrong was optioned to Single-A Lake County to make room on the 25-man roster and catcher Yan Gomes was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man.
Armstrong can and will likely return to the Indians roster when the Captains’ season ends on September 5. Gomes is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on September 16.
Yandy Diaz‘s name was in the news on Tuesday and for all of the right reasons as the Columbus Clippers utility man was named the International League’s Rookie of the Year.
About the only thing that could make his 2016 season more complete would be the notice to pack his bags for Cleveland for some meaningful September baseball.
The Columbus Clippers punched their ticket to the postseason on Wednesday, clinching their third straight International League West Division crown. They still have to wait to see who they may see in the playoffs, as the other two divisions still need some time to be decided.
The Clippers (78-56) extended their winning streak to nine straight games during the week before dropping each game of a two-game set in Toledo with the Mud Hens on Thursday and Friday. They completed a sweep of Toledo in Columbus just last weekend before taking three straight in Indianapolis during the week to clinch their playoff berth. They will wrap up the month with two at home against Louisville before going to Durham for three straight. September will open with three home dates against the Mud Hens before the two teams return to Toledo for two more to close out the regular season.
In other Clippers news and notes from the Ohio state capital:
On Wednesday, Columbus reliever Cody Anderson struck out the Indianapolis Indians’ Austin Meadows swinging to strike out the side and clinch the International League West Division for the Clippers with a 3-1 win at Victory Field.
Pushing their lead to 14 games, the Clippers became the first Triple-A team to clinch a division crown in 2016 as the club won its third title in the last three years. Columbus will get to relax some prior to the playoffs this season, which is a big change from their late September 7 clinch date last season. Twelve games remain on the Clippers schedule for this season while the team awaits its opponent for their postseason run.
At 78-54, Columbus is riding its hottest streak of the season, as it has now won nine straight games.
With a pair of one-run outings and two wins last week, Columbus starting pitcher Adam Plutko was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week for games between August 15 and 21. Plutko was joined by Norfolk outfielder Christian Walker in receiving one of the league’s two weekly honors.
Plutko is the first Clippers pitcher to be honored this season. He joins two-time Batter of the Week Giovanny Urshela (April 25-May 1 and August 1-7) and Futures Game participant Yandy Diaz (July 18-24) in receiving a weekly award from the International League this year.
The 24-year-old right-hander made a pair of starts over the course of the week and came away victorious in both outings.
Barring a very dramatic collapse, the Columbus Clippers are well on their way to another postseason appearance in 2016. With a 73-54 record after scoring ten unanswered runs in Friday night’s 11-5 win over the Toledo Mud Hens, the Clippers have a nine-game lead over the rival Indianapolis Indians in the International League’s West Division with 17 games left on the Columbus schedule.
Over the course of the previous seven days, the Clippers have remained a red hot team, taking two of three from Syracuse and sweeping Durham during the first two series of a three-team homestand from Huntington Park. After a day off on Thursday, they welcomed in Toledo for three games this weekend before taking the ClipShow on the road for three in Indianapolis and two more with the Mud Hens in Toledo.
In other Clippers news from the Ohio state capital:
Ryan Merritt followed up a strong effort during his time with the parent Cleveland Indians by combining with two relievers on a four-hit shutout on Friday night in the Clippers’ 1-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs. The only run on the night came courtesy of a solo home run by Erik Gonzalez in the sixth inning off of Washington pitching prospect Lucas Giolito as the Clippers would be held to just three hits themselves on the night.
Columbus (68-53) has gotten hot at the right time, starting the month of August with an 8-4 record to push their lead in the International League’s West Division to eight games over the rival Indianapolis Indians and nine games over the third place Louisville Bats. Their record is good for the third-best mark across the IL landscape, trailing only the marks of the North Division’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (75-44) and Lehigh Valley IronPigs (71-48).
The Clippers wrapped up their series with Louisville by taking the final two games to go 3-1 against them, then took two of three in Toledo against the Mud Hens. They will finish their three-game set this weekend against Syracuse before continuing their homestand with three against Durham and three more with Toledo.
In other news and Clipnotes regarding the Clippers pitching staff:
A solo home run by Erik Gonzalez in the sixth inning against top Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito was the lone run of the game as the Clippers claimed a 1-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday night.
The Clippers, finally with stability back to their pitching staff after the parent Indians stabilized their bullpen, have ripped off wins in eight of 12 games so far in August to push their lead in the International League West to eight games over the Indianapolis Indians. They will look to extend their third-best record in the International League this weekend against Syracuse before hosting Durham and Toledo for three games each to conclude a nine-game homestand.
In other hitting-related news and Clipnotes:
Giovanny Urshela might not have the longest active hitting streak in the Indians minor league system or even the second longest, but it did not stop him from getting the attention of the International League over the course of the last week, as the Columbus Clippers third baseman was named the league’s Batter of the Week.
It is the second time this season that Urshela has received the honor. He was recognized for his efforts from April 25 to May 1 earlier in the year.
The Columbus Clippers offense is alive and well after putting up 26 runs in the last two games, including a matchup at home with Indianapolis on Thursday and the series opener in Louisville on Friday.
Columbus is just 4-3 over their last seven games heading into action on Saturday night. After winning 11-2 last Saturday in Charlotte, they lost 3-2 on Sunday to miss out on a chance to sweep the Knights at home. The Clippers returned home to Columbus for a four-game set with the rival Indianapolis Indians and won a 1-0 contest on a combined six-hitter on Monday before dropping back-to-back 5-4 decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday. They earned the series split on Thursday with a 9-7 victory before a 17-4 shellacking of the Bats in Louisville on Friday.
The Clippers sit in the top spot in the International League’s West Division with a 63-51 record heading into Saturday’s games, leading Indianapolis by five games. The Bats are eight games back while the Toledo Mud Hens sit in the cellar a dozen games out of first. Columbus will finish its four-game series in Louisville before heading to Toledo for three during the week.
In other Clippers news and notes from the Ohio state capital: