While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 57 days
The Kyle Crockett era in Cleveland (and mainly, Columbus) ended following the 2017 season when he was a roster casualty for the Indians. On the 40-man roster, but not finding the pitching mound often at Progressive Field, the 26-year-old left-handed reliever was designated for assignment by the Tribe and scooped up by the Cincinnati Reds. Relocated to the opposite end of Ohio, Crockett will have a chance to make a difference with a young Reds club.
The new locale could do his career some good as Crockett, for one reason or another, never stuck in Cleveland despite being granted a quick opportunity to play at the Major League level.
Two pending roster moves were resolved for the Cleveland Indians on Monday when a pair of recently designated pitchers were claimed off of waivers by National League Central clubs.
Left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett and minor league right-hander Dylan Baker are on the move in separate waiver claims, resolving their roster statuses with the Indians after being designated for assignment by Cleveland last week in advance of rosters being set for the Rule 5 draft.
The Cleveland Indians made some roster moves on Monday, adding five players to the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 cut off time while removing a pair of pitchers as left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett and minor league right-handed pitcher Dylan Baker were designated for assignment.
The Indians’ 40-man is now full at 40 players.
Injuries have piled up rapidly for the Cleveland Indians and Wednesday’s disappointing collapse in San Francisco added another name to the list of walking wounded.
Boone Logan left the mound in what looked to be a great deal of pain after walking the Giants’ Brandon Belt in the eighth inning and headed straight to the clubhouse with what the team described at the time as a left latissimus dorsi strain. After undergoing an MRI on Thursday in Cleveland, the team announced on Friday that the left-handed reliever had been placed on the 10-day disabled list.
“At the minimum, he’s going to miss significant time,” shared manager Terry Francona prior to Friday’s contest with the Toronto Blue Jays. “There’s not really anything other than that right now. He tore that muscle. He’s going to be down for a while.”
Prior to Wednesday’s game with the Colorado Rockies, the Cleveland Indians announced that left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett had been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
In a corresponding roster move, starting pitcher Mike Clevinger has been optioned to Columbus.
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.
Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to Opening Day!
Countdown to Opening Day – 57 days
The Cleveland Indians have a number 57 on their roster right now in left-hander Kyle Crockett. How long he remains a part of the Indians organization remains to be seen.
The Indians’ addition of free agent southpaw reliever Boone Logan this week would seem to put Crockett’s future in Cleveland in jeopardy, as the veteran adds a bona fide, regular season and playoff tested arm into Terry Francona’s bullpen. It is tough to envision the Tribe running a bullpen with three left-handers, which would seemingly put Crockett’s roster spot in a state of flux.
When the Cleveland Indians traded left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski at the trade deadline two seasons ago, it left a clear hole on a pitching staff that was devoid of southpaw arms.
Left-hander Kyle Crockett appeared to be the next man up for the relief staff. But in 22 appearances through the rest of that season, the results were mixed at best, with opposing hitters batting .273 against him while scoring seven runs off of him in eleven and two-thirds innings. That offseason, the Indians brought in some veteran options to challenge him for a role as the lefty option in the bullpen. Crockett was passed over for Ross Detwiler, a veteran who was coming off of a bad season split with three different teams.
Crockett landed at Triple-A Columbus, but he ultimately got the call-up at the end of April when Detwiler’s trial run came to a quick conclusion. Back in the Majors, Crockett was unable to hold down a spot over the next three weeks, leading the Indians to instead operate without a regular left-hander in their bullpen until his return in late July.
Josh Tomlin, usually a stopper for the Indians’ rotation, could not bring an end to the bad string of starting efforts from the pitching staff as he gave up seven runs and could not clear the fifth as the New York Yankees defeated Cleveland by a 13-7 final on Friday night.
The win for the Bronx Bombers (55-54) pushed the club back over the .500 mark and improved their mark this season against the Tribe to 4-1 after taking three of four from a series a month ago at Progressive Field. The Indians (61-46) have now dropped four of their last five games and fell to 30-26 on the road, still one of the best marks in the American League this season.
The Cleveland Indians have a roster move to make on Saturday, and once again, the answer is not a clear one, at least to those of us on the outside of the clubhouse looking in.
When the Indians added several new players to the 25-man and 40-man rosters either during or at the end of spring training (Juan Uribe, Joba Chamberlain, Ross Detwiler, Marlon Byrd), Cleveland lost some of the flexibility that it would have had to send players with options back and forth to Columbus throughout the season. While the additions of the veterans to the lineup card may have made for a better roster to bring to Progressive Field to start the year, it also cost them several young players, including prospects like Tony Wolters, Giovanni Soto, James Ramsey, and Zach Walters.
This has led to several difficult decisions for the organization when looking to clear players from the 15-day disabled list. Now, the Indians are staring down a similar difficult decision as they need to create a 25-man spot for Cody Anderson, who will return from his stint at Triple-A to the Cleveland rotation on Saturday to make the start against the Kansas City Royals.
The problem is that there is once again no clear cut answer as to what roster move to make.
The Indians announced Wednesday afternoon that the team has optioned fourth starter Cody Anderson to Triple-A Columbus. In a corresponding roster move, Cleveland has recalled left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett from their Clippers affiliate.
The move does not necessarily come as a surprise, even with the uncertainty of two-fifths of the Indians’ current starting rotation after the hamstring injury sustained by starter Carlos Carrasco on Sunday. Anderson was 0-1 through his first four starts with a 7.65 ERA.
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.