A busy week of roster transactions continued on Tuesday as the Cleveland Indians made five roster moves prior to their game with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The biggest of the moves is the promotion of top prospect Bradley Zimmer to the big league club. The addition of the fourth-year pro, who can play both center and right field, became a necessity when Abraham Almonte was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a right biceps strain.
A lot of years it seems as though the Cleveland Indians go into spring training with countless veteran and minor league pitchers looking to fill the void of several open bullpen spots.
This 2017 spring camp is not exactly like a lot of years.
As in past offseasons, the Tribe did invite a good number of veterans looking for work, as well as young hurlers, to Goodyear, Arizona, for spring training. Part of the infusion of a large number of arms was due to the recently ended World Baseball Classic and the need to fill the void left behind by players going off to represent their countries in the event that goes on every four years.
Unlike past Februaries and Marches in the Arizona sun, there is not much of a void for the Indians to fill in a loaded bullpen that rates among the best in the game. There are a lot pitchers in camp looking for a job, but that opportunity is very elusive.
Richie Shaffer must be feeling either really wanted or really unwanted. Regardless, the utility man was designated for assignment for the third time this offseason when the Cleveland Indians purchased right-handed reliever Carlos Frias from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
Frias, who has appeared in parts of the last three seasons for the Dodgers and has been a member of their organization since 2007, is expected to contend for a spot in the Indians bullpen for the 2017 season. Shaffer’s fate is yet to be determined as the Indians will face the prospect of trying to trade the 25-year-old former first round pick or expose him to the waivers process once again.