Dan Wheeler designated for assignment
By Jim Pete
May 14, 2012
Dan Wheeler is no longer a member of the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians designated Wheeler for assignment after an outing in which Wheeler allowed six runs on five hits and a walk in one innings of work against the Boston Red Sox.
Wheeler entered the seventh inning of the Indians Sunday afternoon game against Boston in an extremely low-intensity situation. That was Wheeler's role. While on the outside looking in, he was brought onto this team as a veteran presence, at the end of the day, he was simply the mop-up guy. He was the pitcher who came in when the game was out of hand, much like today's game in which the Tribe was trailing the Red Sox 6-1. For a low intensity job, Wheeler didn't do it very well.
Wheeler didn't pitch all that great in April, but the wheels really started to come off in May. In four innings, Wheeler had given up three runs and two walks, without striking out a batter, heading into today's ballgame. After today, he's given up nine runs and three walks in five total innings. Overall, his ERA was 8.76 in 12 1/3 inning, while giving up seventeen hits and seven walks, while striking out only two batters.
Wheeler will have ten days to clear waivers, but c'mon, who's going to make an offer on this guy?
The real question is who is going to take his place. Chen Lee likely would have been the top candidate, but injury has sidelined the fireballing reliever. Chris Ray and Jeremy Accardo both have sub-3.00 ERA, and both have had major league experience as closers in the big, much like Wheeler. It's likely that one or the other will get the call up in that mop-up roll, usually in the sixth or seventh inning. Hector Ambriz and Frank Herrman are the other obvious options.
A wildcard in the major league roster move would be Cody Allen. It seemed like Allen has gone from little league to Columbus in about two days, but Allen has struggled since the call-up. I doubt very much that the Indians make that move.
Another interesting candidate would be starter Corey Kluber, who I just think would be best served in a long-relief/reliever role. He could spot start, and fill that fifth/sixth/seventh inning roll that Wheeler was supposed to. He also has a nice, live arm. I doubt he'll make the move into the pen, but he would make an interesting choice.
At the end of the day, the Cleveland Indians just got better, theoretically.
Jim is currently the co-site editor, the ATF/Carolina Mudcats/Indians/General Site Columnist, and the co-host of IPI's weekly online radio show, Smoke Signals. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IPI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.