Purchased the Contract of RHRP Scott Elarton and Recalled him to Cleveland

Optioned OF Alex Escobar to Buffalo (AAA)

I didn’t see this coming. The Indians don’t have an off day for a couple more weeks, and, by optioning Escobar down, they’ll be playing with essentially three outfielders. Lou Merloni can play the outfield in a pinch, but he should be at first base tomorrow against Cory Lidle [EDIT: Lidle is obviously right-handed. Merloni will probably be playing instead against Eric DuBose on Monday]. Obviously Sandy Martinez is going back to Buffalo when Victor Martinez is healthy, but Escobar can’t be recalled for 10 days. So I’m thinking that S. Martinez will be DFAd and either Mark Little, Raul Gonzalez, or Ernie Young will be added to the team as the 4th outfielder. All three are career minor-league outfielders, and have put up good numbers for the Bisons. This would now allow Alex Escobar to play every day, and gives Coco Crisp (possibly) one last extended shot to show he can play everyday.

“So”, you say, “What about Grady?” I don’t think the timing is right. Sizemore has been on a roll lately, and after a slow start has started to heat up. Nevertheless, there’s absolutely no reason to rush him to the majors. Also, with Ryan Ludwick getting close to returning, the Indians have to decide who among their outfielders have a future with the club. Ludwick will not be playing at first base, at least for this season, so he’ll be taking at-bats away from either Crisp or Escobar. So now’s the time to see if Coco Crisp can become that leadoff hitter the Indians thought they were getting from the Cardinals. Sizemore is probably going to be the Indians’ starting center fielder next year, and unless Matt Lawton is traded, one among Crisp, Escobar, or Ludwick won’t be with the organization in 2005. Escobar and Ludwick have no option years left after 2004, and Coco Crisp just has just one left, I believe.

Nevertheless, the rebuilding process is really beginning to get exciting. We’re starting to see some of the pieces fall in place, and there’s more on the horizon. And of course, the team is winning some games.

Signed 25th Round Pick CA Wyatt Toregas, 29th Round Pick OF Charles Hiser, and 35th Round Pick LHP Charles Knippschild to minor-league contracts

Nothing earth-shattering here. All three are college players, so you should see them in Niles this summer. Hiser looks like an interesting player; he hit 21 home runs for the Panthers this season and was 19-19 in steals. He also has a decent arm.

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