The Indians announced this afternoon that they’ve released right-hander Tommy Hunter. The veteran reliever hasn’t pitched in the Majors since mid-July due to the fact that he was placed on the disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his back that he sustained in a fall at his home over the All-Star break (as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported at the time).
Hunter, 30, inked a one-year, $2MM pact with the Indians as a free agent this offseason and opened the season on the disabled list as he recovered from sports hernia surgery. He pitched well upon activation, however, logging a 3.74 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 21 2/3 innings out of the Cleveland bullpen. After struggling as a starter for much of his early career with the Rangers and Orioles, Hunter carved out a nice role for himself as a reliever, posting a 3.26 ERA in 207 1/3 innings from 2013-15.
Hunter had already begun a minor league rehab assignment, pitching six innings with Triple-A Columbus over the past couple of weeks and appearing in a game as recently as yesterday, so there’s reason to believe that he could still pitch at the big league level this season despite his recent injury troubles.