The Indians announced that outfielder Bradley Zimmer has been activated from the 60-day injured list. He was optioned down to Triple-A, where had been playing on a rehab assignment.
To create a 40-man roster opening, the Cleveland organization designated righty Jordan Stephens for assignment. He’ll have to be exposed to waivers since trades are not permissible at this stage of the season.
A former top prospect, the 26-year-old Zimmer has missed the entire season owing to shoulder surgery. He’s also looking to bounce back from a brutal 2018 season at the plate. The athletic outfielder stumbled to a .226/.281/.330 slash in 114 MLB plate appearances in what turned out to be a lost campaign.
It’s far too early to draw any conclusions, but it’s promising to see Zimmer hitting well in his initial action in the upper minors. He has a .333/.412/.600 batting line with a pair of long balls in a dozen rehab contests. Whether that’ll carry over to the bigs — and when he’ll get a chance to test himself — remains to be seen.
As for Stephens, who’s nearing his 27th birthday, there have been some ups and downs this year. He was bludgeoned at Triple-A to open the year and ended up being claimed by the Indians from the White Sox. After a bounceback stretch at the Double-A level, Stephens again ran into the International League buzzsaw. All told, he has allowed 17 home runs and 66 earned runs in just 66 1/3 innings at the highest level of the minors this season.