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Transactions: Spring Training Cuts

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From 3-15-09:

Reassigned RHP Tomo Ohka and LHP Ryan Edell to Minor League Camp

Although all Spring Training stats need to be treated with a high degree of skepticism, a pitcher fighting for a roster spot giving up 14 hits and 10 runs in 3.2 innings is a sign that he's not very good. That's what the Indians saw in Tomo Ohka.

 

Edell was a starter all of last year, but the Indians brought him to major-league camp to (I assume) take a look at him as a reliever. If he makes the Clippers as a reliever we'll know if they liked what they saw.

Optioned LHP Rich Rundles to Columbus (AAA)

Rundles looked like he had a decent chance of making the bullpen after making the 40-man roster late last season, but Eric Wedge saw some things he still had to work on:

''It's getting to the point where innings are tough to come by,'' Wedge said. ''Rundles needs to be very good against left-handers and be able to defend himself against right-handers. It's fairly new for him to be dropping down [throwing sidearm], and he has to get more consistent with that. So he has more development to do.''

With Rundles going down, it's very unlikely the Indians will be taking a situational lefty north with them.

From 3-19-09:

Reassigned the following to Minor League Camp:

1B: Jordan Brown, Beau Mills, Stephen Head

Brown and possibly Head will be playing in Columbus; Mills is headed to Akron. Mills is the prime prospect, Brown the sort-of prospect, and Head the not prospect.

RHP Jack Cassel

SS Jesus Merchan

3B Wes Hodges

A lot of things outside of Hodges' control has gone right for him. The Indians, instead of moving Jhonny Peralta to third, traded for Mark DeRosa, who is a free agent at the end of this season. And Andy Marte is for all intents and purposes not in the indians' future plans. That means Hodges now has the opportunity to play himself onto the 2010 roster. I still think it's more likely Peralta's playing at third next season, but if Hodges plays well, it will make the Indians' decision much more difficult.

Optioned the Following Players to Columbus (AAA):

2B Luis Valbuena

While Hodges is going to have to play his way into the Indians' future plans, Valbuena seems to be the default option at second in 2010. If the Indians do shift the infield around next season, his performance this season in Columbus will be the impetus for it.

LHP Tony Sipp

Sipp hasn't been able to stay healthy (tommy John in 2007, shoulder problems last season), but the only thing preventing him from pitching with the Indians this season is proof that he can handle a relievers' workload.

RHP John Meloan, Adam Miller, and Juan Salas

It was a given that Salas would be optioned to AAA as depth. Meloan washed out of the bullpen battle fairly quickly, but my expectations are still pretty high. Adam Miller looks like he'll undergo season-ending surgery on his right middle finger; the injury is possibly career-threatening. Miller's never pitched for the Indians, but it's a huge loss nonetheless. A healthy Miller in this year's bullpen would have given Eric Wedge a relief ace capable of filling in a multi-inning cap if a starter had to come out early, and eventually a late-inning setup man.

Optioned C Carlos Santana and Hector Rondon to Akron (AA)

Both players did nothing this spring to dampen the high expectations already placed on them. Santana is already an advanced hitter, but the Indians are fine at catcher and won't need to promote him agressively. Rondon, on the other hand, probably needs a full season in Akron.

[Update: Although not listed in the official transactions, the Indians also assigned LHP David Huff to Minor League camp.]