The Cleveland Indians find themselves in a tough position coming into September. Not only are they truly out of the race in the American League Central division, but they also seemingly lack a direction on what they should be doing going into the season’s final month.
That problem stems from having much in the name of upper tier prospects in the high minors. After promoting Francisco Lindor earlier this season, the only prospect that could perhaps be worth giving a look to would be top prospect Bradley Zimmer. However given that he’s only had 38 games above Single-A, a promotion to the big league roster would be premature to say the least.
Reliever Shawn Armstrong may get a look, as he’s been solid at Triple-A (2.44 ERA, 76 strike-outs in 48 IP). Cleveland may also extend a cup of coffee to C.C. Lee, another solid right-hander who has posted a 3.00 ERA and nearly a strike-out per inning at Columbus. Starter Ryan Merritt may also get a token start, building off a season in which he’s posted a 11-7 record and a 3.68 ERA, mostly at Double-A Erie.
Cleveland may also call-up some positional depth, although there is little expectation that catcher Tony Walters, infielders Jesus Aguilar, Erik Gonzalez, or Zach Walters, or outfielders Michael Choice, Tyler Holt, and Carlos Moncrief will figure into the everyday rotations.
Additionally, those few Indians who are already on the 40-man roster and injured may not be of much help heading down the stretch. Carlos Carrasco is experiencing shoulder inflammation and would likely be better served to be shut down for the year. T.J. House could be looking at shoulder surgery. Gavin Floyd is on a rehab assignment, but given that he hasn’t pitched all season, there is no need to rush him to the Majors.
This is a lost season for Cleveland and looks like it will continue into September as well.