Placed OF Jody Gerut on the 15-day Disabled List (knee)
Because the Indians shouldn’t need a roster spot right away, they’re keeping their options open in case Gerut is ready to play sooner rather than later. If Jody is ready for action in late May, Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge have some interesting decisions to make. If you count Grady Sizemore, the team would have six competent major-league ready outfielders on the roster, and only Gerut and Sizemore have options remaining.
[EDIT] Reader Alex pointed out that Coco Crisp also has an option remaining. Which means the decision becomes even more interesting if everyone’s healthy.
Speaking of options, I should have my options page up by the end of the week. Until then, here’s the players which (I believe) have options (along with the years) remaining:
Pitchers: Cliff Bartosh (1), Rafael Betancourt (1)*, Andrew Brown (2), Fernando Cabrera (2), Fausto Carmona (3), Francisco Cruceta (2), Jason Davis (1), Kyle Denney (3), Jake Dittler (3), Jeremy Guthrie (1), Cliff Lee (1), Matt Miller (1), Jason Stanford (1), Kazuhito Tadano (2), Brian Tallet (1)
Catchers: Josh Bard (1), Victor Martinez (1)
Infielders: Jhonny Peralta (1), Brandon Phillips (1)
Outfielders: Coco Crisp (1), Jody Gerut (1), Franklin Gutierrez (3), Grady Sizemore (2)
I’m a bit unsure about Betancourt, but the rest I’m fairly certain about.
Anyway, back to the assignments:
Optioned RHP Fernando Cabrera, RHP Francisco Cruceta, and RHP Kyle Denney to Buffalo (AAA)
Cabrera has had a horrid camp; more specifically, he hasn’t been able to throw strikes. Lack of control is the last thing you want a reliever to have, so he’ll go back to Buffalo and work on his mechanics. Cruceta and Denney are probably among the top starter options should there be a need sometime this season.
Assigned C Ryan Garko, RHP Kenny Rayborn, and RHP Jake Robbins to minor-league camp
Garko, along with Franklin Gutierrez, has impressed the Indians the most this spring. Ryan is still a catcher, though that may be subject to change as the year progresses. If someone like Jose Hernandez has to go on the DL, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Garko recalled to serve as a platoon first baseman. Rayborn and Robbins are both veteren minor-leaguers; Robbins probably has the better shot of a call-up.