Cleveland Indians Designate Scott Atchison; Recall Austin Adams

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Cleveland Indians Designate Scott Atchison

The Cleveland Indians have designated right-handed reliever Scott Atchison for assignment today.  The move, while maybe a mild surprise, comes after Atchison struggled yet again and allowed a run in the 9th inning of last night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.  The Indians have recalled fellow right-handed reliever Austin Adams to take Atchison’s place on the roster.

Scott Atchison enjoyed a very good 2014 season in the Tribe bullpen as one of the four workhorses for manager Terry Francona. Atchison threw 72 innings and posted a 2.75 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 3.20 xFIP, 1.03 WHIP, and 3.5 K/BB ratio.  The Indians rewarded Atchison with a one-year “extension” for $1M that included a club option for 2016. The extension actually just avoided arbitration with Atchison and all things considered looked like a bargain even with his age.  However, things have gone much differently in 2015. Sandwiched around a stint on the disabled list, Scott Atchison has posted a 6.86 ERA, 6.61 FIP, 4.36 xFIP, 1.37 WHIP, and 3.0 K/BB ratio in just 19.2 innings.

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Particularly troublesome was his HR-rate which spiked 2.75 HR per nine innings and his groundball rate, which dropped from a career best 58.8% last year to a career low 42.0% this season. It remains to be seen if this is the last we’ve seen of Scott Atchison.  Shaun Marcum was designated for assignment earlier in the year but returned to Triple-A Columbus after clearing waivers and eventually found his way back to Cleveland (before being let go again last week).  Given his age it would come as no surprise should Atchison clear and head to Columbus as well.  Perhaps he can find that magic he had last year.  And while this seemed like an easy move for fans, it was no doubt a tough call by the Indians:  

Cleveland Indians Recall Austin Adams

Austin Adams will be making yet another trip to the big league club. At this point the rookie right-hander probably could drive I-71 from Columbus to Cleveland with his eyes closed.  The flame-throwing right-hander hopes to finally stick in the bullpen though that may not be the easiest task. The Indians still are carrying eight relievers, one more than they’ve been carrying for most of the year and with nagging injuries to players like Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes it would come as no surprise if the Indians made a move to bolster the bench at some point in the next week or two.

On the season, Adams has pitched 11 innings with the big league club and 12 innings with Triple-A Columbus.  In the minors, he’s shown more of those big strikeout numbers the Indians have come to expect from him, striking out over 30% of batters. However, he’s also struggled with his command walking nearly 13% of batters.  In the big leagues though it’s been a complete 180 for him as the strikeouts have not been there, but he’s managed to keep the walks under control, which has helped limit baserunners and post a 1.06 WHIP.

Next: Cleveland Indians Call Up Cody Anderson

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