Cleveland Indians: First round of cuts not a surprise for Tribe

It’s always a tough time for some players when teams make the first round of cuts during Spring Training. The Cleveland Indians did just that today.

The first round of Spring Training cuts never holds many surprises. Of the names that the Cleveland Indians sent to minor league camp, none come as much of a surprise.

Bobby Bradley was the only player optioned to Triple-A Columbus today. Sam Hentges, who made a few Spring Training starts was optioned to Double-A Akron along with Jean Carlos Mejia. Shao-Ching Chang, Li Jen Chu, Ron Kaminsky, and R.C. Orlan we all designated to Minor League camp.

Maybe the biggest surprise is that first baseman Bradley was optioned so early in the spring. The Indians have used him during a lot of substitutions later in games. Obviously, Bradley wouldn’t be on the Opening Day roster for the Tribe. Jake Bauers and Carlos Santana seem to have that locked down. If Hanley Ramirez makes the roster, he could play the position as well.

Bradley wasn’t having a great spring even with his limited chances. He didn’t manage to get a hit although he had 2 RBI via the sac fly. The talk according to MLB.com’s Mandy Bell is that Bobby Bradley has struggled to find a good middle ground with his weight.

“I think he feels like he maybe got a little too lean last year. This year, maybe it went the other way a little bit,” Francona said. “I think there’s a happy medium. And he understands that. We had a pretty honest conversation with him about it. We tried to explain to him that we’re not trying to beat him over the head. We care and we want him to have the best chance to succeed.”

Between sub-par performance and weight issues, it’s not too much of a surprise to see him optioned this early. Sam Hentges was another guy that may have surprised some. he started two games this spring but pitched only three innings allowing no runs. But with the plethora of starters that the Indians have, even their Triple-A rotation is stacked. Hentges will simply have to work his way up.

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Kaminsky and Chu didn’t have a good run this spring so it’s no surprise to see them sent away. It’ll be interesting to see what the next round of cuts brings. The Indians regular guys are starting to play deeper into games so a lot of the guys playing substitution roles could be sent down.

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