Designated RHRP David Lee for Assignment
Purchased the Contract of RHRP Kazuhito Tadano and Recalled him to Cleveland
Optioned LHRP Jason Anderson to Buffalo (AAA)
Placed C Josh Bard on the 60-day Disabled List (groin)
“Please Excuse Our Dust…”
In the past three days, the Indians have renovated their bullpen, adding two new pieces.
First of all, prospect Kazuhito Tadano was added to the 40-man roster. He’s rated the Indians’ #12 prospect by Baseball America, and projects as a pretty good reliever, possibly a closer. You all know the external stuff concerning Tadano, so I won’t belabor the point. He probably won’t be put into too many pressure situations, and will probably start out in long relief. He had started in Buffalo, mainly to get his work in after an off-season illness.
And today, the Indians traded Trey Dyson, one half of the Brian Anderson trade, to Los Angeles for veteren Rick White. He pitched with the White Sox and Astros in 2003, and posted a combined ERA of 5.78. So far this year, White hasn’t given up a run in 11.2 IP in Las Vegas. I wouldn’t expect too much from White at his stage of his career, but the move was probably made to stabilize the bullpen more than anything, much like Dan Miceli did last year for the time he was here. Looking over the Buffalo roster, there was little, if anything, that could have helped in Cleveland. Luther Hackman has been absolutely awful (16.88 ERA), as has Tim Young (14.73). Jason Anderson probably could be a useful reliever in the future, but it’s pretty apparent that he needs more work in the minors. Fernando Cabrera has also struggled in the first two weeks, and he really wasn’t going to be ready until at least the All-Star Break.
So, here’s the “new” bullpen (for now):
CL David Riske
RH Rafael Betancourt
LH Scott Stewart
RH Rick White
RH Jack Cressend
RH Kaz Tadano
RH Chad Durbin
So where does that leave Jake Westbrook? I’m no manager, but I’d have to think that 16.0 one-hit innings justifies a spot in the rotation, no matter what happens when Jason Stanford returns in another start. When Jose Jimenez returns, things become even more interesting. Tadano is the only one in the current bullpen with an option, so he may only be up here for a cup of coffee.
Regardless, no matter what the Indians do, the troika of Riske, Betancourt, and Stewart HAVE to do their jobs. If not, these moves are simply rearranging Titanic’s deck chairs.