Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
No major-league moves for this week, so I thought I’d lead with the WAR totals.
Francisco Lindor and (to a lesser extend) Jason Kipnis have been the most valuable players among the position players, but the Indians have gotten contributions from just about everybody, including from some rather unexpected sources. Whether it has been Tyler Naquin hitting like Manny Ramirez circa 1996, or even Michael Martinez having the best offensive stretch of his major-league career, everyone who has played has been a net positive or close to it. Even Yan Gomes, who is in the midst of his worst season of his career at the plate, has continue to play great defense behind it.
But it's been the pitching side of the ledger that has been fueling the Tribe's success. Offense in general has increased since 2014 (league average OPS this year is .730, compared to .706 two seasons ago), but the Tribe pitching is performing like its 2014. They lead the American League in ERA (3.50, second place is 4.00), WHIP (1.181, second place is 1.249), and are second in FIP (3.87, Houston leads with 3.82). And if you look at Wins Above Average (in which the comparison is the league average, not replacement), you'll see just how dominant the pitching staff has been.
AL WAA, Pitching (baseball-reference)
Every other team in the AL has a staff WAA of 1.0 or less, so the Indians are least 8 wins better than the 11 other AL teams when it comes to pitching. If you expand the list to all major-league teams, the Indians trail only Washington in WAA by pitchers.
Assigned OF Oscar Gonzalez, OF Conner Capel, RHP Jhonleider Salinas, LHP Tanner Tully, 2B Samad Taylor, OF Will Benson, Trenton Brooks, LHP Skyler Arias, RHP Dakody Clemmer, LHP Ben Krauth, SS Jamal Rutledge, C Li-Jen Chu, OF Hosea Nelson to AZL Indians
Promoted RHP Felix Tati from DSL Indians (R-) to AZL Indians (R-)
R- - Placed RHP Jonas Wyatt on the Disabled List
AA - Sent RHP Dace Kime on rehab assignment to AZL Indians (R-)
A- - Sent LHP Kenny Matthews on rehab assignment to AZL Indians (R-)
Sent OF Abraham Almonte on rehab assignment to Columbus (AAA)
Almonte is allowed by CBA rules to start his rehab 15 days before his suspension ends so that he'll be prepared to rejoin the Indians if needed. The Indians do have an option on Almonte, so they could send him to Columbus next week when the suspension ends. Regardless of whether he plays in Cleveland or Columbus, the Indians will need to clear a 40-man roster for him (players on the Restricted List are not on the 40-man roster).
A- - Placed LHP Sam Hentges on Disabled List
3B Erlin Cerda promoted from Mahoning Valley (SSA) to Lake County (A-)
Assigned RHP Luis Santos to AZL Indians (R-)
Sent RHP Craig Stammen on rehab assignment to AZL Indians (R-)
Assigned RHP Andrew Lantrip, C Gavin Collins, C Michael Tinsley to Mahoning Valley (SSA)
Assigned RHP Ryder Ryan to AZL Indians (R-)
Stammen was one of the Indians' yearly rehab projects, and could help the team in the second half of the year if there's no setbacks. Stammen has 5.160 years of service time, so if he doesn't get back to the majors in time to finish this year, he would not be eligible for major-league free agency if added to the 40-man roster right after the end of the regular season. But more than likely he'll make it back with the Indians for the stretch run, then would (with his history) be in line to sign a multi-year deal somewhere else.
Promoted C Jack Goihl from Mahoning Valley (SSA) to Lake County (A-)
RHP Julian Merryweather promoted from Lynchburg (A) to Akron (AA)
RHP Nick Pasquale demoted from Akron (AA) to Lynchburg (A)