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Week in Transactions: Danny Salazar returns from the DL

One week remains until the August 31st roster deadline

Danny Salazar returned from the DL, but was rusty to say the least. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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The Cleveland catchers (Roberto Perez, Chris Gimenez, and Yan Gomes) are now a collective -1.4 bWAR, making that spot in the order the Sagittarius A* of black holes in the lineup. That lack of production has made the fact the Indians still rank second in the AL in runs scored even more amazing. At this point I think the only thing that the Indians can do to improve things is to make a trade (I have no confidence in Yan Gomes returning and getting his swing back by the end of the regular season), but I don’t see any perfect fit out there. The closest available solution would be Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, but he’s a major liability on defense, particularly in stopping the run game. So the Indians may just take the hit on offense and use pinch-hitters in late-game situations.

On a happier note, the front end of the Tribe bullpen looks to have stabilized, even with some short outings from starters of late. Mike Clevinger for now is going to pitch out of the bullpen, a role that he might fill should the Indians make the playoffs. The Indians should also be getting Tommy Hunter back after the rosters expand in September, giving them another option.

Major-League transactions

August 17

RHP Josh Tomlin placed on Family Medical Emergency list

With Danny Salazar ready to come back from the Disabled List the next day, the Indians just played with a 24-man roster for one day. I believe that this is allowed on a short-term basis, but obviously the MLBPA would frown on a club going with fewer than 25 players for more than a day or so.

August 18

RHP Danny Salazar activated from 15-day Disabled List

Judging by his velocity, his elbow was fine, but unfortunately he couldn’t find the plate. So after one inning, he was removed from the game and threw another three innings from the bullpen, something you see in Spring Training. That extra work in the bullpen should allow him to go his normal 100 or so pitches tonight if he’s effective enough to last that long.

August 19

LHP Kyle Crockett optioned to Columbus (AAA)

RHP Shawn Armstrong recalled from Columbus (AAA)

This move was made in the wake of Salazar’s short outing the night before. Armstrong wouldn’t need to pitch, as Trevor Bauer went eight innings against the Blue Jays that night. Both Armstrong and Crockett will be eligible to return to the roster the first week of September.

August 20

RHP Josh Tomlin activated from Family Medical Leave list

RHP Shawn Armstrong optioned to Columbus (AAA)

Tomlin was hit around yet again against Toronto, but for now he’ll remain in the rotation. If the Indians had a 3 game lead instead of a 7.5 game lead, I think Mike Clevinger would be starting in Texas. If the Indians make the playoffs, Tomlin would be moved into the bullpen, or may be left off the roster altogether, depending on how many pitchers Terry Francona would want on the playoff roster.

Minor-League Transactions

August 15

R-: Placed RHP Skylar Arias on the Restricted List

Arias tested positive for a PED and was suspended for 56 games.

August 17

AAA: Placed LHP Tyler Olson on the 7-day Disabled List (flu)

August 19

A: Placed RHP Jordan Milbrath on the 7-day Disabled List

A: Activated RHP Justin Garcia from the 7-day Disabled List

A-: Placed RHP Devon Stewart on the 7-day Disabled List

A-: Activated RHP Yoiber Marquina from the 7-day Disabled List

August 20

AAA: Placed RHP Jeff Johnson on the 7-day Disabled List (blister)