There were only two transactions affecting the 25-man or 40-man rosters this week (calling up Ryan Merritt to be the 26th man yesterday and activating Andrew Miller today), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything worth discussing. Jose Ramirez had an injury scare yesterday, and Bradley Zimmer didn’t have a hit in August until yesterday (the 17th). Plus Lonnie Chisenhall is on his way back to the club. Let’s try to fit all these seemingly disparate events into some sort of comprehensible whole.
Let’s start with the near term. The Cleveland Indians have activated relief ace Andrew Miller from the disabled list. He made a rehab appearance Wednesday, dominated Triple-A batters, and most importantly, felt no discomfort or pain afterwards. So he will be available tonight in Kansas City.
So what about the outfield now that Abraham Almonte is on the disabled list? The Indians have four outfielders on the roster. About that.
Lonnie Chisenhall has begun his rehab assignment, and as part of that he’s playing some center field. The idea is that once Chisenhall and Michael Brantley are healthy, the everyday outfield would be Brantley in left, Chisenhall in center, and Jay Bruce in right. Chisenhall’s return also might be delayed a bit because his wife is due to have their child early next week.
I do think that Zimmer is going to be optioned eventually, although he wasn’t today, then certainly when Chisenhall returns. He needs at-bats, and preferably those should be in Columbus rather than with the Indians. Almonte is better suited than Zimmer to be a backup, anyway.
Thankfully Jose Ramirez did not suffer any broken bones after being hit in his right forearm yesterday. He missed Game 2 of yesterday’s doubleheader, and might miss tonight’s game as well. Erik Gonzalez is traveling with the club in case the Indians need to make a quick roster move, as the team only has four healthy infielders (if you don’t count Edwin Encarnacion) on the 25-man roster.
Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
Santander Watch: The Orioles finally activated Santander yesterday, so the Rule 5 clock has officially started. A player has to spend a minimum of 90 days on the active roster (as in, not on a disabled list) to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements, so even if Santander spends the remaining 45 or so days of 2017 on the active roster, he’ll have spend the first 45 or so days on the active roster in 2018 in order to stay with the Baltimore organization.
Also! Daniel Robertson was released, then re-signed with the Indians on a minor-league deal.