Cleveland Indians Attend Workouts Of Barry Zito, Matt Albers

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In baseball, no matter how much you have, it’s never enough. That’s why the Cleveland Indians attended the workouts of former Cy Young winner Barry Zito and former Indians pitcher Matt Albers in Houston. Zito didn’t pitch in 2014, while Albers had only eight games due to a shoulder injury. Our own Steve Kinsella had hinted at the possibility early in the off-season.

In 2013, Albers was a member of the Indians bullpen, appearing in 56 games while posting a 3-1 record with a 3.14 ERA. His performance that year down the stretch was a critical part of the Tribe clinching a playoff berth, allowing only one earned run in 11 innings (0.82 ERA) in September.

Albers has pitched for Indians manager Terry Francona in Cleveland, as well as in Boston.

Zito, once one of the best in baseball, has struggled to ever find that Cy Young form again. In 2012, he had a bit of a resurgence going 13-5, but carried a 4.15 ERA, and was helped to that record by a team that won the World Series in spite of his numbers, not because of them.

Zito, 36, and Albers, 32, both could be a help to the Indians staff. But Francona’s use of the bullpen would see Albers as the better fit. According to reports, the Tribe was more impressed with Albers than Zito.

After taking a year off Zito is assumed to be in good baseball shape. But after signing Gavin Floyd this off-season, more veteran pitching doesn’t seem logical. If they could get Zito on a minor-league deal, and he was fine with opening in Triple-A, which I doubt, he could offer some depth. Injuries haven’t been kind to the Indians, so forward thinking is a good idea.

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The concern with Albers will be how good of shape he’s in after missing last year with the shoulder issue. Reports had him hitting 91 mph during workouts, so it seems the liveliness of his arm is fine.

If the Tribe was to take a chance on either, it would likely be Albers. Even as a low risk/high reward potential signing as Zito can be, there really is no place for him. We’ll likely get answers soon with Spring Training around the corner, as the team would ideally want to have them in camp should they make a move.

Next: Three Headlines To Watch For This Spring

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