Cleveland Indians: The Columbus Clippers conundrum

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Clippers are in the midst of the International League playoffs while the Cleveland Indians need roster help and have a tough decision to make.

The Cleveland Indians nearly blew another game against the lowly Chicago White Sox.

Brad Hand came in with a four-run lead Wednesday night, only to make it a two-run lead after quickly allowing a nice two-run homer to Tim Anderson.

Hand then loaded the bases in what was a doom-inducing moment. I know one of our writers had to change the channel because he couldn’t take it anymore. Hand’s dismal outing caused Terry Francona to do the right thing and get him out of there in favor of Nick Wittgren.

That would have been an even bigger disaster if not for the heroics of Oscar Mercado.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that was a season-saving catch. But it sure was close. The White Sox were so stunned they forgot how to tag up. A Wittgren strikeout finally ended the torture for Indians fans.

Meanwhile down in Columbus the Clippers secured a 5-4 victory in the first game of the International League semifinals.

The Clippers had the likes of Bradley Zimmer, Bobby Bradley, Jefry Rodriguez and James Karinchak appear in the win. The latter two provided three innings of no-hit baseball, as they should. Because they belong up with the Indians.

This is the conundrum the organization faces right now. Should the Indians let the IL playoffs play out undisturbed, or take the players needed up here to help the major league team stay close in the division and the Wild Card race?

The IL playoffs don’t run the whole month of September. The Clippers could realistically be done by the weekend if things turn south.

But let’s say the team advances and the Indians continue to face bullpen struggles. The whole point of the minor league system is to get players ready for the majors. Do the playoffs matter?

Yes and no.

Getting postseason experience at any level is valuable. The difference for the Indians is that the team is at risk of missing out on the one postseason that matters if some reinforcements don’t come up soon.

I am in the boat of taking several Clippers players. The Indians don’t have to raid the whole team just to get to a full 40-man roster. But the top players need to come up now and be used right away.

A look at the days ahead for AL contenders. dark. Next

I can’t handle another bullpen collapse when Karinchak and Rodriguez are dominating a few hours down the road.