The Cleveland Indians have optioned 21-year-old catcher Francisco Mejia to Double-A and re-assigned first baseman Nellie Rodriguez to minor-league camp, per a tweet from the team’s insider account:
Roster update— Tribeinsider (@tribeinsider) March 15, 2017
+Optioned C Francisco Mejia to AA Akron.
+Reassigned INF Nellie Rodriguez to Minor League camp.
Spring roster at 55 players
Mejia participated in 11 games this spring, finishing with eight hits, two home runs, and a double in 19 at-bats. Being optioned is no surprise, though, as the young switch-hitter has never played above High-A and the Indians have two established catchers in Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez already competing for a starting job.
Last season, playing for the Single-A Lake County Captains and High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, Mejia was incredible. He finished with a .869 OPS with the Captains and only got better in High-A with a .915 OPS. He also completed a 50-game hitting streak split between the two levels, tied for the fourth-longest hit streak in minor-league history.
Moving Mejia to Double-A required an option because the Indians placed him on the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Nellie Rodriguez, a power-hitting 22-year-old first baseman, was left exposed to the draft but was not chosen. Rodriguez was 10-for-27 this spring, with no home runs, a double, and nine strikeouts. He is currently listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.