ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.: It's no coincidence that the Indians lopped 12 years off their roster by calling up Chris Gimenez from Columbus and designating Mike Redmond for assignment.
Gimenez, 27, was last year's do-everything utility player for the Tribe, playing left, right, first base and especially catcher. His problem: a 144 batting average in 111 at-bats.
Redmond, 39, was signed over the winter to bring in a veteran presence to help the pitching staff and assist rookie Lou Marson, who was the everyday catcher until phenom Carlos Santana was called up from Triple-A last month. Initially, Redmond was Fausto Carmona's personal catcher, club officials thinking that Carmona needed a guiding hand after two brutal seasons in which controlling his emotions on the mound became an issue.
Now that Carmona has proven he can do it without Redmond (Santana has been catching him), it was time to give Gimenez another chance.
""Hopefully, I'll have a little better showing than last time,'' he said. ""I have nowhere to go but up.''
This year for the Clippers, Gimenez batted .276 with 32 runs, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 32 RBI in 55 games. He played 34 games in the outfield, 18 at catcher, three at first base and one at third. Redmond batted .206 with seven runs, four doubles and five RBI in 22 games. He played in only three games since June 8.
Why did the Tribe make the move now?
""It's no secret that this is the direction (young) we're going,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""The way the season is going, it's time to head into a youth movement.''
Gimenez will be the Indians' No. 2 catcher, which means he will appear behind the plate once or twice a week.