Set to kick off a four-game series in Chicago with the White Sox on Monday night, the Cleveland Indians have added their top prospect to the club to provide, for the time being at least, a little extra protection to the roster.
In the wake of a painful hit-by-pitch suffered by backup catcher Roberto Perez in Sunday’s 9-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, the Indians have recalled catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia from Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the 25-man roster for the backstop, the Indians optioned reliever Evan Marshall to their top farm affiliate.
In an unrelated move, the Indians also announced via a press release that the organization has released veteran reliever Matt Belisle from his minor league contract so that he could pursue other professional opportunities.
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.
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 Cleveland Indians bullpen was known to have some question marks about it coming into the season after the losses of Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith from the staff in the offseason. Good length from the starting pitching helped to buffer those losses through much of the first month of the season, but that has not necessarily been the case in recent weeks and has been compounded by extra inning games and the hamstring strain sustained by Andrew Miller last week.
Cleveland announced on Wednesday that the contract of right-handed pitcher Ben Taylor had been selected from Triple-A Columbus. To create room on the 40-man roster for the 25-year-old, veteran right-hander Matt Belisle was designated for assignment.
The Indians could not protect an early 4-0 lead as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied with four runs in the fourth inning off of starter Mike Clevinger and tacked on four more runs late against the Cleveland bullpen to claim an 8-4 win in the series opener on Friday from Progressive Field.
With less than a week until the Indians open the 2018 regular season in Seattle with a three-game series against the Mariners, the roster is starting to take shape.
Manager Terry Francona announced that 37-year-old veteran right-hander Matt Belisle had won a spot on the team’s relief staff, ending several months of speculation as to which pitcher would join the returning arms out of the bullpen.
In a corresponding move, fellow veteran righty Carlos Torres was granted his unconditional release after exercising the opt-out in his minor league tender with the club.
Even a week and a half after pitchers and catchers reported to Goodyear, Arizona, for the start of the Cleveland Indians’ spring training festivities, new faces continue to arrive to camp.
To create room on the 40-man roster for Taylor, the Indians announced that right-hander Cody Anderson had been placed on the 60-day disabled list as he continues his return from Tommy John surgery early last year. He is in camp with the club working his way back from the procedure.