Cleveland Indians to Promote Soto & Martinez
The Cleveland Indians have not officially announced these moves, but they are likely waiting until tomorrow to do so with today being an off day. Neither player is on the 40-man roster so a pair of moves will need to be made, which the team has also yet to announce. The most likely move would seem to be moving T.J. House to the 60-day DL as it sounds as though he’s done for the year and is only on the 15-day DL currently. The second move could be Tony Wolters to the 60-day but that seems unlikely given he’s got zero big league service time. More likely someone will be designated for assignment with Tony Wolters, Carlos Moncrief, Jayson Aquino, Tyler Holt, Jesus Aguilar, and Michael Choice as the most likely candidates.
Indians Finally Call Up Soto
If you follow me on Twitter (and if you aren’t, you should!), you’d know that I’m a huge Giovanni Soto fan. I’ve been hoping to see him all year, especially once Marc Rzepczynski was traded and Nick Hagadone went down for the year. The Cleveland Indians had only one lefty in their bullpen in Kyle Crockett (despite having a nine-man pen), so look for Soto to get some use down the stretch.
It’s fitting that Soto would join the team in Detroit as he was originally with the Tigers after being drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 MLB Draft. The Indians acquired him from the Tigers for Jhonny Peralta back in 2010. Originally a starter, he moved to the bullpen full-time in 2014 after injuries nearly derailed his career. Soto was having a very good year for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers posting a 2.68 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 8.55 K/9, and 1.19 WHIP in 53.2 innings. With Rzepczynski gone and Hagadone’s elbow a major question mark, Soto is likely auditioning for a 2016 bullpen job as the second lefty in the bullpen alongside Crockett.
Martinez Gives Tribe Bench Even More Versatility
Michael Martinez getting called up is a mild surprise as he’s a journeyman utility player who has never hit much. He turns 33-years old in two weeks and has a sub .500 OPS in the major leagues in 440 plate appearances. So why bring him up? One word: versatility.
Martinez has played six different positions since the start of the 2014 season: second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions. This year alone he’s played five different positions for the Columbus Clippers while also putting up some nice offensive numbers. In 401 plate appearances, Martinez has hit .289/.344/.424 with a 123 wRC+. He’s also stolen 11 bases for the Clippers and actually had a pretty solid spring training with the Tribe. I actually thought there was a chance he could have made the big league club as the fourth bench player (but alas that did not happen).
Bottom line though, Martinez is a simply a depth bench guy that Tito Francona can also use as a pinch runner or defensive replacement should a flurry of other moves be made in the game. He’s not a long-term solution nor will he remain on the roster after the conclusion of the 2015 season, though he could be brought back on another minor league deal.