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Indians Add Five Players To 40-man

November 20, 2008
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CLEVELAND, OH --- The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has added five (5) players on to the club’s 40-man roster. Today the Indians purchased the contracts of the following players from the Triple A Columbus roster: CA CARLOS SANTANA, OF TREVOR CROWE, CA CHRIS GIMENEZ and RHP JEFF STEVENS. The club also purchased the contract of RHP HECTOR RONDON from Class A Kinston.

Santana, 22, had arguably the finest season of any minor league player in 2008, batting .326 (151-463) with 39 2B, 5 3B, 21HR, 125 runs & 117 RBI in 130 games. He led all minor leaguers in runs and finished 2nd in RBI, T6th in walks (89), 8th in on-base % (.431) and T9th in extra base hits (65). He was acquired by the Indians on July 26 from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with RHP John Meloan for INF Casey Blake. At the time of the trade he was hitting .323 (113-350) w/a league best 88 runs scored, 34 doubles, 4 triples, 14HR and league-high 96 RBI in 99 games at Class A Inland Empire of the California League. He was eventually named California League MVP and #2 overall prospect in the California League (Baseball America).

Did not miss a beat in Class A Kinston, reaching base safely in 26 of 29 games, scoring 34 runs in those contests as he hit .352 (27-105) with 5 2B, 6HR & 19 RBI. He also played 2 games in AA Akron to conclude his season. On the year he reached safely via hit or walk in 119 of his 130 games and had a cumulative OPS of .999 (.568SLG/.431OB%). After the season he was named a High Class A All-Star and best defensive catcher in the California League by Baseball. He was also designated the best hitter in all of Class A baseball (High A) by He is the #1 overall prospect in the Indians organization entering 2009 according to Baseball America.

Crowe, who turned 25 on Monday, split the season between AA Akron and AAA Buffalo, hitting a combined .302 (104-344) with 28 2B, 4 3B, 9HR & 41 RBI in 84 games (.381OB/.485SLG/.866OPS). He also scored 70 runs and stole 18 bases in those 84 contests. Trevor was 3rd overall in batting average among Indians minor leaguers and 5th in steals. After an early season injury to his lower back, he hit .400 (42-105) w/32 runs, 10 2B, 4HR & 24 RBI in 25 June games and was named Eastern League Player of the Month.

He was promoted to AAA Buffalo on July 25 and hit .274 (40-146) at Triple A with 12 2B, 2 3B, 5HR & 13 RBI in 35 games. Combined from June 1 thru the end of the season at Akron and Buffalo Trevor hit .332 (95-286) w/61 runs, 25 2B, 3 3B, 9HR & 39 RBI in 69 games. The Portland, Oregon native was the club’s 1st round selection (14th overall) in the 2005 draft out of the University of Arizona.

Gimenez, 25, also split the season between AAA Buffalo and AA Akron, hitting a combined .304 (113-372) with 24 2B, 2 3B, 9HR & 45 RBI in 109 games. He also compiled an on-base % of .421 and scored 69 runs in 109 games (.452SLG/.873OPS). His .304 average was the 2nd highest of any Indians minor leaguer. Chris was the club’s 19th round selection (557th overall) in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno. Chris began catching during the 2006 season after splitting his first few seasons in the organization between first base, third base and the outfield.

Stevens, 25, had an outstanding season between AA Akron and AAA Buffalo between his stint at the Beijing Olympics for Team USA. Jeff started the season at AA Akron and was 5-1 w/a save and a 2.51 ERA (28.2IP, 19H, 8R/ER, 11BB, 37K, 11.6K/9.0IP, .188AVG) in 17 relief appearances. He did not allow a run over his last 6 outings for Akron (10.0IP, 1H, 0R, 5BB, 16K) before being promoted to Triple A on June 1.

He pitched well at Buffalo, posting scoreless outings in 12 of 19 appearances and limited hitters to a .181 (19-105, 3HR) average against. Overall at AAA he was 0-3 w/5 saves and a 3.94 ERA in 19 games (29.2IP, 19H, 13ER, 16BB, 44K, 13.3K per 9.0IP). He appeared in 4 games in a primary set-up role for Team USA during their bronze-medal winning effort at the 2008 Summer Olympics in August. Combined on the year he went 5-4-6 w/a 3.24 ERA in 36 games (58.1IP, 38H, 21ER, 27BB, 81K, .184AVG), averaging 12.5 strikeouts per 9.0IP. Stevens was acquired in June of 2006 from the Cincinnati Reds.

Rondon, 20, spent the season at A Kinston where he went 11-6 w/a 3.60 ERA in 27 starts for the K-Tribe (145.0IP, 130H, 58ER, 42BB, 145K, .238AVG). He finished 4th in the Carolina League in wins, 2nd in strikeouts, 6th in innings pitched and 8th in ERA. Among Indians minor league pitchers he was 6th in ERA, tied for 5th in wins & led the entire organization in strikeouts. Hector was named a High Class A All-Star and the 9th overall prospect in the Carolina League by Baseball America and was also named as having the best Change-Up in the league by BA. He also tossed a scoreless inning for the World Team in the Futures Game. The 6’3” right-hander is a native of Guatire, Venezuela and was signed by Cleveland in August of 2004.

The Indians currently have 39 players on their organizational 40-man roster.

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