The Cleveland Indians continued to make minor tweaks to their roster for the coming season as they signed free agent reliever Luis Perez to a minor league contract and shipped reliever Austin Adams to the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations.
The minor league pact with the 32-year-old left-handed Perez did not include an invitation to spring training. He last appeared in the Majors in 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays after a lengthy and complicated recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2012.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Tuesday what plenty had already known – that the team had come to terms with free agent left-handed reliever Boone Logan on a one-year tender with an option for the 2018 season. The corresponding move that was unknown coming into the day was which player would be losing his 40-man roster spot to make room in the bullpen for the 32-year-old left-hander.
That decision has been made, as the club has designated right-handed reliever Austin Adams for assignment. The team has seven days to trade him, release him, or attempt to pass him through waivers with the intention of outrighting him to the minors.
In his third year on a Major League roster, the results for right-handed reliever Austin Adams were likely not what he had hoped for during his time with the Cleveland Indians.
After appearing in 28 games out of the Indians bullpen in 2015, Adams was a candidate for a spot in manager Terry Francona’s relief corps in 2016. The club had gone to great lengths to add many candidates to the mix in the previous offseason, bringing in plenty of arms with MLB experience in Dan Otero, Joba Chamberlain, Tommy Hunter, Ross Detwiler, and Tom Gorzelanny.
Adams made nine appearances in spring games, earning a win and a save in ten and one-third innings while posting the third-most strikeouts among relievers in camp. His command was not where it needed to be, however, as his four walks may have raised some concerns and he was one of the roster cuts in late March.
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:
Sometimes with the good, there comes some bad. The Cleveland Indians got a good start, good run support, and a good series win over the pesky Minnesota Twins in Sunday’s win, but they also lost starting catcher Yan Gomes with what appeared to be a significant shoulder injury following a close play at first base.
Despite his clear offensive struggles at the plate this season, few question Gomes’ abilities behind the plate in regards to his defensive work, pitch framing, and game calling. He has been the catcher of preference for the starting rotation and has been an uncredited reason for the staff’s continued success over the last few seasons.
Gomes was at the plate in the top of the fifth inning with one out against Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson in a 1-0 game. After doubling in his first at bat to end an 0-for-27 slide at the plate, Gomes grounded to third. Running hard, Gomes was tagged in the leg by first baseman Kennys Vargas on the wide throw from third. Gomes landed awkwardly on the bag, appearing to slightly hyperextend his left knee, before sprawling to the ground and landing hard on his right throwing shoulder. He laid on the ground holding the knee briefly before the training staff’s focus turned to the shoulder. He was placed in a sling and left the field on a cart for x-rays. He was returning to Cleveland immediately, not accompanying the team to Kansas City, and was expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday.
Everything continues to be bigger for Texas as the Rangers pounded Indians starter Josh Tomlin for eight early runs on the way to an easy 9-2 win in Cleveland on Monday night.
The Rangers scored early and they scored often in pacing starter Derek Holland to a big lead. Just two batters into the game, they had the lead as Jurickson Profar singled to left off of Tomlin and Ian Desmond homered the same direction.
Texas added another in the second after a single from Elvis Andrus and a double from northeast Ohio native Ryan Rua put two in scoring position with one out. Bryan Holaday lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Andrus, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
The once-productive Cleveland lineup was contained again and starter Danny Salazar could not make it through five innings in a tough start as the Boston Red Sox claimed game three and a series win over the Indians by a 5-2 final on Sunday afternoon.
As seemed to be the case all series, the Indians failed to score when opportunity was knocking at the door. Coupled with a season-high four runs allowed from Salazar, it was a recipe for a sour Sunday for Tribe fans.
Using a lineup consisting of just four players who began the year in Columbus, the Clippers dropped the finale of their series against Indianapolis on Thursday, giving the Indians a series win with three victories in the four-game set. The Clippers failed to capitalize with runners on base against Jameson Taillon, a top pitching prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After going 15-7 in April, the Clippers are now 9-9 in May. Despite the cold spell and their struggles on the road (9-11), they remain atop the International League West Division with a 24-16 record. The Clippers will wrap up a seven-game road trip with three games over the weekend against Louisville before an off-day Monday. They will then return home to Columbus, where they will play six straight against Buffalo and Durham before hitting the road again.
In other Clippers news from Columbus:
If you have not paid attention to the results down in Columbus for the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A farm club, the Clippers, you have missed out on an impressive stretch of baseball being played right now.
Since a four-game losing streak in the days following four postponements in a five-day span and a pair of early April doubleheaders, the Clippers have sailed away to an incredible start. Since ending their losing skid against Indianapolis on April 16, the club has gone 16-4.
They dropped just two more games in the second half of April, losing a series in Louisville against the Bats. The Clippers then ripped off eleven straight wins before losing the series opener and the rubber match in Charlotte against the Knights. They got back onto the winning path on Friday with a 9-2 victory in Toledo over the Mud Hens in a well-pitched game from Indians pitching prospect Mike Clevinger, who improved to 4-0 in six starts this season with a 3.03 ERA.
While the parent Cleveland Indians have danced all around the .500 mark through the first month of the season, all of their children are performing well at the minor league level.
This very much includes their Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, who won their eighth straight game and second in a row in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 victory at Huntington Park on Thursday afternoon over the Charlotte Knights.
The Clippers finish their homestand with a perfect 8-0 record.
‘The Cleveland Indians 25-man roster to open the season is starting to take shape, but it looks as though it will be increasingly likely that All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley will not be active when the team hosts the Boston Red Sox on April 4.
Brantley, who had surprised many by getting into two Cactus League games and appearing ahead of his expected rehab schedule, suffered a setback to the process and was set to meet with Dr. Mark Schickendantz Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. The team will hold him out of action as a precaution during the next week, putting his roster spot into extreme question for Opening Day and a trip to the 15-day disabled list all the more likely.
With spring training now underway and pitchers and catchers in camp in Goodyear, Arizona, the battle for bullpen spots begins in one of the primary camp competitions this spring for the Cleveland Indians. The team will be seeking an answer to the pressing question: who will be manager Terry Francona’s relievers in 2016?
It seemed as though no inexpensive stone was left unturned by the Indians front office, who made several cash exchanges with clubs and signed another half dozen to minor league contracts with invitations to sunny Arizona.
One of the biggest contributing factors to how many positions are up for grabs may actually depend more on the health of the club’s starting left fielder Michael Brantley.