Cleveland Indians Call Up Cody Anderson
The Cleveland Indians will call up right-handed pitching prospect Cody Anderson to start today’s series finale versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Anderson will be making his major league debut when he toes the rubber for the Indians, joining recent call ups Giovanny Urshela and Francisco Lindor as other top prospects to make their debut. Anderson himself was a top ten prospect heading into the season (per Baseball America) and was the second best pitching prospect in the Tribe system (behind only Justus Sheffield).
Anderson actually started the 2015 season at Double-A Akron before getting the call up to Triple-A Columbus only a couple weeks ago. Anderson started with the Rubberducks due to a rather poor 2014 season there, in which he had a 5.44 ERA, 4.99 FIP, and a mere 1.8 K/BB ratio in 25 starts. He quickly turned things around in 2015 though. He made just ten starts at Double-A Akron this year posting a 1.73 ERA, 2.97 FIP, and a 4.0 K/BB ratio. Those numbers earned him his quick promotion to the Clippers where he made just three starts and posting a 2.33 ERA, 2.27 FIP, and 3.6 K/BB ratio.
Those numbers were enough for the Indians to promote the rookie after designating Shaun Marcum for assignment this week. Anderson will become the third pitcher the Indians have used in the 5th spot in the rotation after original starter T.J. House went on the disabled list at the end of April. Veterans Bruce Chen and Marcum failed to hold on to the job. Can the 24-year old rookie do what they could not?
Despite his lackluster 2014 season, the Indians were confident enough in Anderson’s abilities to still add him to their 40-man roster this past off-season, wanting to avoid exposing him to the Rule 5 draft. Cody Anderson isn’t the most overpowering pitcher in the Tribe’s system but he has a very effective 2-seam fastball that helps him induce a large amount of grounders. He compliments that fastball with a mixture of a slider, curve, and change-up. While his ceiling may not be that of a Brady Aiken or Justus Sheffield, Anderson is no slouch and could easily become a solid mid-rotation starter.
For the time being though the Cleveland Indians will count on Anderson to be their #5 starter. House, Chen, Zach McAllister, and Marcum have all failed to hold on to rotation spots this year, can Anderson finally give the Indians some consistency from the 5th spot? Only time will tell but given Anderson’s pedigree as a prospect and excellent results at two levels in 2015 give reason for optimism.
His rise this year is a bit reminiscent of Danny Salazar who in 2013 went from Double-A to Triple-A to the bigs league in 2013. Few expected him to have the impact he did when the 2013 started, just as few expected Anderson to have much of an impact on 2015. However, both were already on the Indians’ 40-man and both were highly regarded by the franchise. Don’t expect Anderson to have quite the impact that Salazar had but there’s no reason to think he can’t at least be an effective 5th starter for the Indians.
Kyle Crockett Optioned to Columbus
To make room for Anderson on the 25-man roster the Indians have optioned left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett to Triple-A.
Crockett along with Jeff Manship were called up earlier in the week to help out the bullpen after that blow-out loss to the Cubs. This is the second time Crockett has been optioned this season; he was optioned shortly after initially making the opening day roster. Crockett hasn’t pitched poorly with the big league club; however the Indians probably felt more it was better for the time being to option Crockett rather than remove Manship, who would have to be designated for assignment.
For now the Indians will carry eight relievers and have just a three man bench. It remains to be seen how long Tito and the Indians will go with this set up after having the traditional seven man bullpen and four man bench for much of the 2015 season (a departure from what we saw in 2014).
Shaun Marcum Clears Waivers
The Indians have also announced that Shaun Marcum, recently designated for assignment, has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus. Marcum was designated to make room for Jeff Manship after his poor starter versus the Cubs on Wednesday. Marcum will provide some depth to an Indians rotation that is a bit thin behind their big four. This was his second time being designated for assignment and the second time he’s agreed to stay in the organization after clearing waivers. Marcum could have opted to become a free agent.