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.
Garner’s long climb to the Majors will have reached its summit, as the 27-year-old Dover, Ohio, native has pitched well at two different levels for the Indians while in his second season in the Cleveland organization.
He worked in 23 games with the Akron RubberDucks to start the season in his third year appearing at the Double-A level. He went 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He saved two games in four opportunities and limited opposing hitters to a .202 batting average and was named to the Eastern League’s All-Star team, his second midseason All-Star appearance (2013 – Clearwater; Florida State League).
Garner was promoted to Triple-A for a day on April 28, but did not pitch. He got the call for good on July 4 and had been a workhorse in the Clippers bullpen since joining the club. Shortly after joining the Columbus team, he worked 13 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball in a span of seven games, giving up just three singles, two walks, and a double in that span. After allowing a run on August 4, he worked another six scoreless outings, going 1-0 with four saves in eight innings with three singles allowed over 27 at bats (.111 average).
In 18 games with the Clippers, Garner was 2-0 with five saves in seven chances, a 1.63 ERA, and a 0.94 WHIP. Opposing hitters were batting just .156 against him.
Garner is a former second round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 draft out of Ball State. The 6’3” righty made ten appearances with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010 and 2011 before a promotion to High-A Clearwater for the 2012 season. He worked at three different levels in 2013, making 22 starts at Clearwater in addition to two starts at Double-A Reading and one at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
He started the 2014 season in the Reading rotation but was later moved to relief and was transferred back to Clearwater. He was released by the Philadelphia organization prior to the 2015 season and signed with Cleveland two weeks later. He worked in all but one appearance for High-A Lynchburg in relief that season.
Garner will wear number 66 with the Indians. When he makes his debut, he will be the first to do so in that number for the Indians since Willie Martinez in 2000.
Photo: Ball State Athletics