Indians add five players to 40-man roster
The Cleveland Indians today announced that they have added right-handed pitcher Bryan Price, right-handed pitcher Austin Adams, infielder Erik Gonzalez, first baseman Jesus Aguilar and outfielder Carlos Moncrief to the 40-man roster. To make room on the roster, they have designated infielder Cord Phelps for assignment. The roster is currently full at 40 players.
Price, 27, enjoyed a breakout season in 2013 between Triple-A Columbus and Double-A Akron recording a 2.04 ERA and 4 saves in 47 games (75.0IP, 57H, 21R/17ER, 16BB, 92K). He limited hitters to a .206 (57-277) average against and averaged 11.0 strikeouts per 9.0IP during his tenure in Akron and Columbus. He is currently second in the Venezuelan Winter League in saves and is sporting a winter ERA of 1.89 in 15 games (1GS, 19.0IP, 8H, 4ER, 6BB, 19K, .133AVG). He was acquired by the Indians from Boston withJustin Masterson and Nick Hagadone for Victor Martinez in July 2009.
Adams, 27, spent the entire season in a relief role at Double-A Akron, going 3-2 with 4 saves and a 2.62 ERA in 45 appearances (55.0IP, 44H, 16ER, 3HR, 29BB, 76K, .215AVG). He averaged 12.44 strikeouts per 9.0-innings pitched and limited right-handed batters to a .158 (18-114) average against after missing the entire 2012 season due to right shoulder surgery. He owns a career ERA of 3.28 in 114 games/46 starts (340.0IP, 320H, 124ER, 348K).
Aguilar, 23, set the Double-A Akron franchise single-season record with an Eastern League-best 105 RBI, hitting .275 (137-499) with 28 doubles, 16 home runs and 66 runs scored in 130 games. His 105 RBI led the Player Development system and ranked 6th in all of Minor League Baseball. The Eastern League All-Star has carried his regular season success into winter ball where he is hitting .313 (41-131) in 33 games in his native Venezuela while ranking among league leaders in home runs (T1st, 10), RBI (2nd, 31), total bases (T2nd, 75) and runs (T4th, 25). He was originally signed by Cleveland as an amateur free agent in November of 2007.
Moncrief, 25, spent the entire 2013 season with AA Akron where he batted .284 (139-489) with 26 doubles, 7 triples, 17 home runs, 75 RBI and 77 runs scored in 129 games as he established new career Minor League-bests and led the Akron club in virtually every offensive category. His 17 homers were tied for 1st among Indians farmhands while his 75 RBI were 3rd in the system. The Eastern League All-Star selection finished among league leaders in OPS (7th, .824), hits (T4th, 139), runs (T6th, 77) and triples (T6th, 7). The converted pitcher was originally selected by the Indians in the 14th round of the 2008 draft out of Chipola (FL) Junior College and spent his first two years (2008-09) in the pros as a relief pitcher.
Gonzalez, 22, split the 2013 campaign between low-A Lake County and high-A Carolina where he batted .254 (129-508) with 32 doubles, 12 triples, 9 home runs, 76RBI and 75 runs scored in 132 games. The versatile infielder appeared in 65 games at third base, 55 games at shortstop, 13 games at second base and 1 game apiece at first base and center field as his 76 RBI were second in the organization to Aguilar. Erik has continued to make a name for himself after the season for Escogido in his native Dominican Republic, hitting .351 (33-94) with 12 runs, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR & 8 RBI in 25 games (.839OPS) in winter ball, leading the league in hits (33) while currently ranking 2nd in average and triples. This year marked his first full Minor League season after signing as an amateur free agent in August of 2008.
Phelps will probably clear waivers, and if he does, he has to accept an outright assignment to the minors and would be under the Indians control for the 2014 season as a non-roster player. Also, it is important to note that outfielder David Murphy has not yet been formally added to the roster, so when he does, another player will need to be cleared from the roster. The expectation is that Drew Stubbs may be traded, but if he is not, then Matt Carsonwould probably be DFAed.
Adams actually reminds me some of Salazar as a power arm with starting experience that projects immediately in a MLB bullpen. Adams being 5 years older than Salazar and shoulder surgery being a way bigger wild card than elbow surgery really temper my expectations though.
Summary: Very like to moves and feel that we currently have the players to fill the gaps in the bullpen. Biggest worry - 3B.
Maybe trading Michael for Chase Headley would achieve that need. I feel that keeping Drew over Mike would be a big since Drew is younger and very fast. Go TRIBE!
I think Carson should be DFA when Murphy is officially signed. I understand why Phelps was DFA, he never hit in majors when he did get his shot. His future is probably in another organization.