By Sheldon Ocker
Beacon Journal sports writer
CLEVELAND: The Indians acquired a left-handed matchup reliever from the St. Louis Cardinals, sending minor-league second baseman Juan Herrera to the Cardinals for Marc Rzepczynski.
Rzepczynski, 27, pitched only 11 times for the Cardinals, compiling a 7.84 ERA in 10⅓ innings and allowing 16 hits and four walks.
He also spent time at Triple-A Memphis, where he was 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 appearances, pitching 44 innings.
“I feel like we got a left-handed reliever who is very effective at getting left-handed hitters out at the major-league level,” General Manager Chris Antonetti said. “He also has had World Series experience and fills a need short term and long term.”
Although conceding that Rzepczynski has not been effective overall, Antonetti said, “He’s still been pretty good against left-handers.”
This year, left-handed batters are hitting .294 (5-for-17) against Rzepczynski, righties are batting .407 (11-for-27) against him. For his career, lefties are batting .224, right-handers .271.
“He has not been as effective at the major-league level, but it’s a very small sample,” Antonetti said. “We’ve had an interest in him for a long time, going back to when he was with Toronto, and we followed him to St. Louis.”
Rzepczynski will arrive in Cleveland by today, but Antonetti didn’t know when he would be put on the 25-man roster. Joe Martinez (2-6, 5.88 ERA at Triple-A Columbus) was designated for assignment to make room for him on the 40-man roster.
“A lot can happen in 24 hours,” said Antonetti, seeming to suggest that more deals are in the offing before today’s 4 p.m. trading deadline.
TOMLIN IN THE HOUSE — Josh Tomlin made a brief visit to Cleveland, in part to have his surgically repaired elbow checked by a doctor and in part to be reacquainted with his teammates.
He has reached the point in his recovery where he can pitch in games, and he did so for the first time few days ago by working one inning in the Arizona rookie league.
Now that Tomlin is back on the mound, what are his chances of rejoining the Tribe’s rotation this year?
“In September, I think that’s a possibility,” Francona said. “We would probably do what’s more in his best interest than in the team’s.”
AWARD WINNER — The Indians have selected Class-A Carolina right-hander Nick Pasquale as the organization’s Minor League Player of the Week.
Pasquale posted a 2-0 record, giving up one run and eight hits in 13 innings in two starts last week. He started the season as a reliever at Class-A Lake County before being promoted to the Mudcats on May 13.
FARM FACTS — Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-6, 4.02 ERA) gave up four earned runs (five total), five hits and five walks in Columbus’ 5-4 win over Durham. … Tyler Naquin has been named Carolina League Player of the Week for batting .346 with six RBI and six runs for the Carolina Mudcats. … Nellie Rodriguez homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs as Mahoning Valley defeated Williamsport 6-2 in Class A. … Clint Frazier homered, singled and had two RBI, as the Arizona League Indians beat the Dodgers 4-1.
— Sheldon Ocker