Rodriguez and Anderson Up from Columbus, Two Sent Down
Bob Toth | On 13, Apr 2019
The Cleveland Indians announced on Saturday afternoon that pitchers Jefry Rodriguez and Cody Anderson have been recalled from Triple-A Columbus. Rodriguez is scheduled to make the start for the Indians on Saturday evening against Homer Bailey and the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.
Rodriguez, 25, came to the Indians in November as one of three pieces acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Yan Gomes trade. The young right-hander debuted in the Majors last season with the Nats, making eight starts and six relief appearances as a 24-year-old rookie. He earned a 3-3 record with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP while walking nearly as many batters as he struck out on the year. His numbers were skewed by a tough time as a starter, as he had a 6.75 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP over 38 2/3 innings of work. In relief, he was 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 13 1/3 innings.
Rodriguez made four appearances in the spring for the Indians with a 7.11 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, striking out four and walking six in six and one-third innings. He had made one start with the Columbus Clippers this season, working five and two-third innings while allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Anderson makes his return to the Majors, where he last pitched with the Indians as a reliever in 2016. The 28-year-old right-hander made nine starts and ten relief appearances that season, but had Tommy John surgery the following spring and missed nearly two full seasons rehabbing the injury. He appeared in just three innings of three games in the minors for the Indians last season.
Anderson had made one start while stretching himself back out to starters’ innings for Columbus, lasting three scoreless innings against Indianapolis while allowing just one hit and striking out four. He could see the field Saturday in a piggyback role after Rodriguez’s outing is done.
Edwards was sent down as a reliever with options after the bullpen was tasked with seven and one-third innings of work in Friday night’s 8-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. The 31-year-old right-hander earned wins in each of his first two appearances out of Cleveland’s bullpen and some of his surface numbers look okay (1.80 ERA), but five walks and four hits allowed over five innings of work have bloated his WHIP to 1.80. He has thrown just 55% of his pitches for strikes and eleven of the 25 batters that he has faced in his six games (44%) have reached safely via hit, walk, or hit by pitch.
Luplow was the odd man out of the Indians’ outfield picture and the move came ahead of the anticipated return of Carlos Gonzalez, who is rumored to be added by the Indians as soon as this weekend. The third-year MLBer Luplow, 25, has struggled to get it going at the plate in limited trips. He has three hits (all singles) and two walks in 17 plate appearances (.200 batting average, .294 on-base percentage), but he has struck out eight times. With Jake Bauers, Leonys Martin, and Tyler Naquin the current regular starters in the outfield and switch-hitting (but slumping) Greg Allen providing a defensive plus (able to play all three spots) and speed to the bench, Luplow became the man on the move from the mix.
The right-handed hitting outfielder had not been able to capitalize in his platoon-type opportunities against southpaws, striking out seven times in 12 plate appearances with two singles and a walk. He was 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in five plate appearances against right-handers.
More roster moves are pending, as Rodriguez and Anderson could be shipped back to Triple-A and Gonzalez could have his contract purchased from Triple-A as soon as Sunday. Due to off days this month, the Indians will not need a fifth starter until their Sunday night game with Houston on April 28, making Rodriguez potentially expendible, and given the depleted rotation depth, the team will likely prefer to let Anderson build up his work load consistently in the minors.
Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images