The Indians announced that they have selected the contract of right-hander Joba Chamberlain and designated outfielder James Ramsey for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Additionally, catcher Roberto Perez has been cleared to play after undergoing concussion tests following a foul tip to the mask on Sunday.
Chamberlain, 30, inked a minor league deal with Cleveland this offseason and earned a spot on the club with a Spring Training that featured mixed results (MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reported in late March, however, that Chamberlain would make the club). Chamberlain yielded just three runs and struck out eight batters in 10 innings, but he also yielded a troublesome seven walks.
That type of control problem has never been much of a problem for Chamberlain, but the righty has endured his share of struggles over the past few seasons. Chamberlain logged a 4.93 ERA in 2013 in his final season with the Yankees, and after a strong first half in 2014 with the Tigers, he wilted and posted a 4.97 ERA down the stretch. Last year, he began the season with Detroit once again and posted a 4.09 ERA in 22 innings before being designated for assignment and eventually working back to the Majors with Kansas City, where he surrendered five runs in 5 2/3 innings. His Triple-A work wasn’t any better, as Chamberlain surrendered a combined 13 earned runs in 12 Triple-A frames between the Jays (for whom he never appeared in the Majors) and Royals. He’ll look for better results in Cleveland this season.
Ramsey, meanwhile, is a former first-round draft pick — 23rd overall by the Cardinals in 2012. St. Louis traded the outfielder to the Indians in exchange for Justin Masterson at the 2014 trade deadline. Ramsey was impressive in 2014 following the trade, but he batted just .243/.327/.382 in 503 Triple-A plate appearances as a 25-year-old at the Triple-A level last season. Baseball America ranked him as Cleveland’s No. 23 prospect this winter, noting that while he lacks standout tools, he has an intelligent approach that helps the tools he does have to play up. BA, however, noted that Ramsey could ultimately prove to be a fourth outfielder or platoon bat due to struggles against left-handed pitching. MLB.com rated him 27th among Cleveland farmhands, similarly noting that his ability to play all three outfield spots could make him a fourth outfielder.
The DFA of Ramsey comes just four and a half months after the FSU product was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. A Spring Training effort that saw Ramsey go just 2-for-21 with 10 strikeouts against one walk certainly couldn’t have helped his chances at remaining on the 40-man roster. He’ll now join 14 other players in DFA limbo, though Cleveland presumably hopes that he’ll clear waivers and remain in the organization.