Indians finalize Opening Day 25-man roster
Carrasco, Wood, Atchison in, Tomlin out
It was final roster decision day inside the Indians locker room Wednesday.
The Tribe announced that right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco has made the Opening Day 25-man roster, winning the final spot in the starting rotation. He posted a 3-1 record this spring, walking four and striking out 13 in 18 innings. Aquired in the Cliff Lee trade from Philadelphia back in 2009, Carrasco had a leg up on the competition from the start, having no minor league options left.
Despite a solid spring, 29-year old righty Josh Tomlin will begin the year at Triple-A Columbus. After missing all but one game of the 2013 season, Tomlin posted a 3.54 ERA in Cactus League action, walking four and striking out 19 in 20 1/3 innings. He will presumably be the first starter called-up barring any injury to the pitching staff.
Besides the rotation, Cleveland also announced that right-handed relievers Blake Wood and Scott Atchison have made the big league club and will round out the bullpen.
Wood, 28, has impressed the Tribe with his filthy heat, giving up just one run in 9 2/3 innings and striking out 11. Healthy after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, Wood is hoping to make a name for himself in the late innings this year.
Veteran reliever Atchison rounds out the eight-man bullpen after surrendering just two runs in eight innings of work this spring, striking out eight. The 38-year old owns a 3.64 ERA in his big league career.
The final Indians 25-man 2014 roster shakes out like this:
Rotation: Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Danny Salazar and Carrasco.
Bullpen: Atchison, Wood, Marc Rzepczynski, Josh Outman, Bryan Shaw, Vinnie Pestano, Cody Allen and John Axford.
Position players: Yan Gomes, Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, Ryan Raburn, David Murphy, Lonnie Chisenhall, Elliot Johnson, Mike Aviles and Nyjer Morgan.
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I very well could be wrong...but I don't think Morgan is only around til Bourn is back. Just doesn't make sense to me to roster him to then cut him in a week or two.
I too was a bit surprised Frenchy didn't make the club, but not really upset over it.
As much as I hate having 8 pen guys, I'd probably add Kottaras and send Chiz to AAA. Doesn't sound like Chiz is really in for that much playing time...probably plays a decent amount against RHPs but if he's not playing everyday against them, send him to AAA then.
Long-term I'd add Kottaras in place of Giambi (or maybe Morgan/Johnson). Chiz and Wood would go down, bench of Aviles, Johnson, Morgan and Kottaras with the regular 7-man pen.
Big argument against a real backup catcher seems to be lack of versatility from that guy...but Kottaras actually can play a position other than catcher (played some 1B and a couple emergency innings at 3B/OF). Even if he couldn't...playing catcher already makes him more versatile than Giambi. Sure Kottaras can't pinch run....neither can Giambi. But Giambi was a great pinch hitter last year....yes, that is true, had 3 hits in 14 at-bats, all went for homers. Kottaras was no slouch himself though. Didn't hit for power but had an OBP of .500 as a pinch hitter in 12 plate appearances. Is he really a worse pinch-hit option than Giambi? Maybe he is...but he's not useless in that role.
Again though, don't expect anything to happen....Francona loves Giambi and I respect what he did last year. Part of me just wants Giambi to retire...can be last remembered for that memorable walk-off after Perez blew the save and the season appeared over. Not that Giambi is a lifer-Indian but a great memory to go out on IMO. Maybe he has more magic in that old body of his though...
Could in theory keep Giambi and let Morgan walk. Still have OF depth with Raburn, Aviles, and Johnson on the bench. Giambi and Kottaras can both be used as pinch hitters/spot starters...
Maybe it was a wayward finger, but I think it was the iPad's autocorrect (the "t" is two letters away from the "e") - apologies for the misspelling.
Not a bad idea, but who would you remove to make room for him?
I didn't put either Johnson or Pestano since Johnson has a multi-skill set in terms of positions and Pestano has some history with the organization (even though I'm not as convinced he's back as some - need to see him in regular game action to see if it is the "old Vinnie" or the "new Vinnie" from last year).
Quick glance at his Batting Average and would seem like a terrible guy to go after but he just always puts up a solid OBP thanks to an great walk rate. This spring was classic Kotteras as well with a .150 batting average in 20 ABs..but a .320 OBP thanks to 5 walks in 25 PAs. That 20% spring training walk rate may seem unsustainable...but posted a 19% walk rate in over 100 plate appearances in 2013 and nearly 18% in over 200 PAs in 2012.
Decent bat against RHP in his career too. Rare LHH catcher. IMO would be a nice 4th bench guy...gives you a real backup catcher and a guy you aren't afraid to start at times against RHP. Posted a .735 OPS against RHP last year (.340 OBP, .209 ISO) and for his career has a .749 OPS vs them (.319 OBP, .209 ISO).
Again, don't see it happening...but would feel a lot better about Santana at 3B with another option to backup Gomes.
If so Tomlin should have made the 25 man roster and they could have BABIED Salazar at triple A the first couple of months.
Love your optimism there Walter...but if I was a betting man I'd take the (way) under on that opening day temp...
The current projected hi is 42 for the opener...low of 31. Bigger question is...will it or won't it snow? Rain showers predicted for the day before and if the weather gets as cold as they are saying could easily be snow on Friday...
One...have the Indians also officially said that Carrasco will be the #4 starter and Salazar the #5, or is that still just speculation?
And two...have the Indians announced what they'll be doing with Salazar for the first week or so if he is indeed the #5 and skipped? Can't imagine he doesn't throw at all before his first start on April 8th. Just gets in bullpen work on the side...or maybe some live-game bullpen work? (ok, guess that was technically 3 questions)