CLEVELAND: The Indians said goodbye to Shelley Duncan today, designating him for assignment to make room for Jeanmar Gomez.
Duncan is one of two left-fielders let go by the Tribe this season; Johnny Damon was jettisoned Aug. 9.
“”It was tough to get rid of a guy like Shelley,’’ manager Manny Acta said. “”He’s a good teammate who gives you all he has. But there will be a couple of September call-ups coming, and there aren’t going to be many at-bats left for Duncan. He also is not in our plans for next year, but this is never a happy time.’’
When Grady Sizemore went down with a knee injury in spring training, Michael Brantley was moved from left to center field and a competition broke out among several lifetime bench players for the everyday job in left. Duncan opened the season in left and stayed there through April and much of May.
Damon was signed on April 17 and worked out at the Tribe’s spring training complex in Arizona before joining the team early in May. Over time, Damon was on the field more than Duncan, though his lack of production and sub-par defense led to his release.
“”The regular against right-handers is Zeke,’’ Acta said, referring to Ezequiel Carrera. He added that the newcomers from Triple-A bat from the right side.
Gomez, despite being a career starter, will work out of the bullpen.
“”Our bullpen is a little short right now, and we don’t want to push anybody,'' Acta said, ""And with (Corey) Kluber going tonight, we don't know what will happen.’’
Gomez began the season in Cleveland, where he posted a 4-7 record and 5.18 earned-run average in 14 games (13 starts) before being optioned to Triple-A on June 23. At Columbus, he was 6-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 11 starts.
Acta doen't need another starter now, because Roberto Hernandez's right ankle sprain survived a 35-pitch bullpen session this afternoon, so he will make his start on Saturday against the Rangers.