Elvis Araujo: Cleveland Indians Days of Future Past

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Like every other team in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians employ numerous players throughout their organization, from the big-league club in Cleveland to their rookie league team in Arizona and beyond. And like every other Major League franchise, the Indians add and subtract from this player pool on a regular basis. This irregular series will serve to post notice when a former Indians player has done something noteworthy with a quick look back at the player’s time in Cleveland.

Player: Elvis Araujo

Current Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Years in Indians Organization: Elvis Araujo joined the Cleveland Indians back in 2008.  He did not play in 2009 and 2010, but returned to the mound in 2011.  This offseason Araujo departed to free agency.

Why He’s In the News: The Philadelphia Phillies signed the 23 year-old to a major league contract yesterday.  Araujo will join a bullpen that showed signs of dominance last season.

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What He Did: Araujo pitched in the Tribe’s minor league system from 2008 through 2014.  He never progressed past AA in that time span thanks in part to missing all of 2009 and 2010 with various injuries, including Tommy John surgery.  After missing much of 2013, Araujo transitioned from the starting rotation to the bullpen in 2014.  He struggled with his control but showed high strike out rates.  This season he struck out 50 batters in 50 innings.

How/Why He Departed: With the Indians’ strong bullpen, it became apparent that Araujo was not going anywhere.  Rather than pay him and try to iron out his control issues, the front office decided it better to cut their ties with him all together.

What the Future Holds: With Jonathan Papelbon currently occupying the closer role and posed to replace him, Araujo will look to earn opportunities earlier in the game.  It’s possible, albeit unlikely, that the Phillies try to turn him back into a starting pitcher.  A much more likely scenario is Araujo joining other high-walk southpaw relievers such as Jake Diekman and Antonio Bastardo in a middle relief role or left handed specialist role. He still has three options left, and the Phillies aren’t expected to win a lot of games next season, so they can be patient with him.

Notice a player you remember being in the Indians organization? We’re ever-vigilant, but sometimes we miss guys, too! Send us an email at wahoosonfirst@gmail.com and let us know which former Indians farmhand or player is making noise elsewhere.

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