The Indians have informed first baseman Jake Bauers, lefty Oliver Perez, infielder Yu Chang and outfielder Ben Gamel that they’ve made the Opening Day roster, the club announced to reporters (Twitter links via Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon-Journal). First base prospect Bobby Bradley, outfielder Bradley Zimmer, veteran righty Blake Parker and young lefty Kyle Nelson have all been told they will not head north with the club.
The slate of decisions means that Bauers, who is out of minor league options, will get one more opportunity to fend off Bradley. Bauers didn’t show particularly well this spring, slashing just .200/.429/.280 in 35 trips to the plate. Bradley’s .303/.314/.636 output trounced that, but we’re looking at small samples of data and it’s common this time of year for clubs to be averse to losing out-of-options players on waivers.
Bauers is still just 25 years old and is a former top prospect himself, although he didn’t play in the big leagues last year and carries a rather marginal .214/.314/.377 slash in 811 career plate appearances. Bradley, 24, got an opportunity in the big leagues last season but stumbled with a .178/.245/.356 line in 49 trips to the plate.
With the Indians optioning both Zimmer and Oscar Mercado to Triple-A this week, it appears that Gamel, who’d been in camp as a non-roster invitee, will be one of their primary options in center field. He could split time with Amed Rosario there, although Cleveland’s experiments with him in the outfield thus far in Spring Training have been somewhat adventurous. Gamel has more experience there and seems likely to see plenty of opportunity despite a tepid .212/.316/.364 showing in 38 spring plate appearances.
Chang’s case for a roster spot improved earlier in camp when veteran Mike Freeman was traded over to the Reds. The 25-year-old Chang hasn’t hit much in parts of two seasons with the Indians in 2019-20, but he’s also received just 97 plate appearances in the Majors. Perez, meanwhile, has spent the past three seasons in Cleveland’s bullpen and thrown quite well, so it comes as little surprise that they’ll bring him back for a fourth year. Parker came to camp with a decent chance to grab a spot but has been clobbered for a dozen runs in 6 1/3 innings. His track record in the big leagues is obviously quite a bit better than that disastrous showing, but it’s not hard to see why Cleveland went in another direction after that audition.
Though the team has announced its decisions, the moves themselves aren’t yet formal. Both Perez and Gamel were in camp on non-roster deals, as was veteran righty Bryan Shaw, who made the club earlier in the week. All three will need to be added to the 40-man roster between now and Opening Day, so the Indians clearly have some roster tweaking on the horizon.
how does Bobby Bradley not make the team over Bauers he’s been raking, maybe because Bauers has versatility ?
It’s actually because Bauers is out of options, and they gotta keep this idea of getting “young studs” from trades. They’re not DFA’ing Jake because they wanna look better than they did in the trade they got him in
ah my bad, should’ve read the article closer. thank you
Shoulda kept Yandy. 🙁
Agree totally. Totally. No reason to trade Yandy. Even if he can’t stay healthy he’s still better than Bauers will ever be. Bauers had that one lucky day in Detroit when he hit for the cycle. That’s it.
There is no reason ! Options or no options this is a garbage move! I’m not saying Bradley is gonna be a star but I can pretty much guarantee Bauers won’t be. He’s had 700+ AB’s in the majors and has yet to show anything that says he’s worthy of being a platoon 1B let alone a starter. 1B is an offensive position and he hasn’t even shown that ability in the minors.
Excuse me!? Its the Cleveland baseball team.
They should use “club” instead of “team” and call themselves Cleveland BC or CBC
it actually angered me that Washington used “Team” over “Club”
Why’s that ?
WTF, er ah, WFT?
Or call them the Baseball Division and their initials can be ‘CBD’. A sponsorship waiting to happen
Paul Dolan: “I need to save money on the team!”
Also Paul Dolan: *worth over 4 billion dollars”
As a fan of the team, what the heck is going on. 4 of the players making the roster aren’t on the 40 man, which means younger players who DO deserve a shot are going to get cut. No matter what happens, I’ll always be a fan of the team. But this is just baffling to me.
I don’t see the Bauers experiment changing directions whether he’s out of options or not. The guy has just never hit the way they expected since his acquisition, so at some point early in the season they’ll have to expose him to waivers. This is only delaying the inevitable.
Are they ever going to give Bobby Bradley a shot? He turns 25 in late May and the alternative is Jake Bauers who has a career 85 OPS+ and 88 wRC+.
They’re doing the same thing to him that they did to Jesus Aguilar.
This is the same example I keep coming to. They have a pattern of showing no faith in young position players who don’t have top prospect pedigree; Aguilar, Yandy, Bradley, Daniel Johnson, Yu Chang, and there are probably more I’m forgetting. None of them had anything left to prove in the minors, but they didn’t show any interest in giving them more than a few scattered at bats. I know Yu is making the team, but he’ll be buried on the bench, limited to a few pinch hitting at bats, and demoted when they need to bring up an extra reliever.
Granted, I’m not as high on Bradley as a lot of others (I think he’s probably a AAAA guy who won’t hit enough to tap into his power), but at some point you need to know what you have in him and find out for sure. I get keeping Bauers for now since he’s out of options, but I’m expecting pretty much nothing from him at this point.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Every single Cleveland fan can attest to how badly they’ve wanted to see Bradley start at Progressive on 4/1, but knew this outcome was inevitable. Bauers is borderline AA, he can’t hit a ball to save his life. Yes he’s a + defender, but we’ve struggled with hitting for years now, and need bats to win. It sucks that we’re willing to hold on to an asset that never reached potential and not give an opportunity to a guy who’s been begging for his chance and proven he’s fully committed…and yes, raking in ST. Hope to see Bauers out and Bradley in come May.
Agree- this move just angers me- Bauers has shown me enough ( actually not shown me enough) to say it’s time to move on from him and give Bradley the chance he EARNED! Bauers has batted .200 this spring with 0 RBI’s vs Bradley’s 11 RBI’s and 8 extra base hits. I just don’t get this move!
I love left-handed throwing, fine defensive 1B’s. They make a difference to the pitcher (can slap the ball on the runner on a pick-off play as opposed to reaching across his body as a RH has too); throws across his body to the other 3 bases – doesn’t need to pivot; and settles down the other infielders, pitcher on catcher when they have to hurry a throw to 1st.
But they have to hit some!
Yandy Diaz can play a passable 1B. This was a disasters trade, and yet another example of the Indian’s FO highly overrating stats that show LH batters hit better in Progressive Field.
On the other hand, it’s great that Zimmer followed Mercado out the door – 2 other position players like Bauers that they kept mother-henning.
The Indians acquire and develop pitchers as well as any team in MLB (Astros and Rays are also terrific). But their track record with position players is spotty at best.
1-1/2 years in the majors. 2.51 ERA. 1.40 FIP. 187 ERA+.
Want K’s from a closer. In 27 innings has Karinchak has K’ed 53 batters. Yes, almost 2 per inning.
Indians and Royals bullpens are terribly underrated. Believe them to be within the top 6-7 in MLB.
Do they get pink tags in their locker like in Major League?
That guy here is dead!
Cross him off then!
Count me as one Cleveland fan who would rather not see Bradley whiff 40% of the time in Cleveland. When he starts making consistent contact, then play him.
But too much emphasis is placed on opening days rosters, which will be significantly different by mid May.
The alternative is Bauers, who still has major flaws in his game and seems like a clubhouse cancer in situ. At this point I’d prefer Chang starting at 1B so we could see if there’s anything there with him
Very few of us expect Bauers to succeed. Which means Bradley will soon get his chance to strike out a lot this year. If the Tribe is doing well in July they can always trade for a 1b then.
I mean, the alternative is a guy with a sub-90 wRC+ and wOBA just barely over .300. We’re not talking about Freddie Freeman here.
Cleveland’s been great for a long time ! Kudos to them as a small market team. Windows closed now though. To many question marks to rebound from.
I would never trade Bieber but be interesting what kind of return they’d get- especially if he keeps dominating. With 4 years of control left – he might be the most valuable player potentially available in all of baseball
I believe if anyone is gonna get traded it will be Jose Ramirez, but only if they’re waaaaaay out of the race.
Jake Bauers has whiffed 219 times in less than 700 MLB AB’s- not like he’s exactly a contact hitter. Time to move on from this guy since he seems to provide nothing at 1B other than maybe above average defense.
The answer is neither Bobby Bradley (whose K rates in the minors were worrying, and his brief stint in the majors did nothing to address that) or Jake Bauers. The answer at 1B is either going to be Josh Naylor or Nolan Jones.
Jones needs to learn to hit left handers, or he will be another Tyler Naquin.
In nurse follars
It was never in dispute. Bauer’s and Plutko were always on the roster rather than lost to waivers. Keeping Chang means they really wanted another right hand bat rather than Rosario as infield back up. Bradley, Johnson, were worthy and will see time.
if im DD i take a look at Parker or Cishek to replace Watson with.
Rosario/Gamel CF with an already Naylor in RF? Can Eddie Rosario cover that much ground from LF because that’s going to be some ugly defense out there…
kinda wonder if Naylor plays 1B. do they really want to start Bauers?
Lol Ben Gamel over Brad Zimmer? Trade Zimmer if they’re not going to give him a chance.
They’ve already given him multiple chances.
To trade him, someone has to want him enough to trade something back.
Zimmer is a zero.
Yeah and they have to open up a 40 man spot for ?Gamel? Pretty surprising
Believe they have to open up 3 spots for Gamel, Shaw and Perez. Not sure why they want to expose 3 younger guys to keep them. At least Gamel is only 26 but to possibly lose guys over Bryan Shaw or a 40 year old Oliver Perez?
They will probably put Cam Hill (who fractured some parts of his pitching hand in a car accident and hasn’t pitched this spring) on the 60 for one spot. As for the other 2, your top candidates are:
Beau Taylor, the third catcher but a guy they got on an NRI deal a year ago
Jean Carlos Mejia – a good pitching prospect who hasn’t played in 2 years, and is on his last option
Bradley Zimmer – Not young anymore, you have to think Mercado and Daniel Johnson are higher up on the list to get a chance now
Bobby Bradley – only 1 option left, clearly they don’t think much of him
Now that Indian roster decisions are out of the way, Tribe brass can no longer lie about what they knew about Mickey Calloway
Yeah, bc ya know, they were waiting on roster moves to announce anything about Calloway… weirdo
Go away. Maybe get a life?
Bauers being chosen means there was never a first base competition, and Bauers was always going to be their choice for opening day. He has done nothing in his professional career (minors or majors) to make you think he’s a better option than Bradley. Bauers had good numbers in Single A ball in 2014 and has been declining ever since. His terrible 2019 season with Cleveland was actually better than his performance with the Rays in 2018. I really don’t understand why they feel the need to keep him around. I hope they’re seeing something that’s about to blossom. I’ll gladly eat crow on this.
Not according to Indians beat writer Mandy Bell. Check out the headline of her latest article. Unbelievable.
Bradley. Jesus Agiular all over again. Other regrets will be Ka’ai Tom,Christian Arroyo,Santander,Clint Frazier,Gio Urshela,and probably the biggest that’s going to come back to haunt will be Willi Castro.
Urshela was given every opportunity and never showed any bat. Even went to Toronto and showed nothing, somehow finding it with the Yankees.
Bauers goes 0-3 with 2 errors today playing 1B.
That sure is an odd way to celebrate “winning” the 1B job.
Bauers didn’t win the job he was given the job because the Indians were worried they couldn’t sneak a no-glove/light-bat First Baseman through waivers
Hence my placement of the quotation marks.