Optioned RHP Andrew Brown and OF Franklin Gutierrez to Buffalo (AAA)
It’s been almost a year since Milton Bradley was traded to the Dodgers, and the rewards are close to being realized. Brown and Gutierrez both had tremendous springs, but need more seasoning at the AAA level (and maybe a little at the AA level for Gutierrez). Brown has been coverted to a relief pitcher, and may move quicker than Gutierrez, who has to polish his swing and contend with an organizational surplus of outfielders. Brown has great stuff, but needs to fine-tune his command to make it to Cleveland. Nevertheless, both have good shots at seeing action some time this season.
Denny Stark had been impressive so far this spring; he probably wasn’t going to win a spot, but could have been among the early-season callups. Then this happened. He allowed 10 runs in 1.2 innings, and gave up two home runs (including one to pitcher Mike Hampton). Brian Tallet pitched well again, throwing two shutout innings; I’ve never been that impressed with Tallet even before the elbow injury, but he’s left-handed, so he may work his way into a bullpen job down the road. And Juan Gonzalez played, which is always a good thing; at this point, Juan can’t have another setback, or he’ll probably be gone (no pun intended).
Don’t miss the outstanding Indians preview from Baseball Think Factory’s Matthew Rich. In the preview is included an interview with assistant GM Chris Antonetti, and one of the questions involved the team’s willingness to sign injured players. Since injured players are going to be undervalued commodities, if you have a good rehab program, you can get a great return if the player recovers from an injury. If the team can build for itself a sort of niche as an organization that’s good at resurrecting careers, they might attract more of these types of players based just on their reputation.