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Indians notes: Tribe to call up at least 10 players

By Sheldon Ocker
Beacon Journal sports writer

DETROIT: The Indians are calling up so many players in September, they might need a Boeing 747 to cart them around to the next road trip.

No fewer than 10 players will be summoned from the minors beginning today, when clubs can expand their rosters to 40.

Indians manager Terry Francona needed a cheat sheet to make sure he didn’t leave anyone out when he announced the list to the media.

Relievers Preston Guilmet, Nick Hagadone, Blake Wood plus catcher Kelly Shoppach and infielder Jose Ramirez will arrive today.

Monday, reliever Clay Rapada will report to Cleveland, and Tuesday, relievers Vinnie Pestano, C.C. Lee, starter/reliever Carlos Carrasco and starter Josh Tomlin will join the team.

All of these players are being called up from Columbus except Ramirez, who spent the season at Akron, playing mostly second base and shortstop, but who also spent a few games at third.

Ramirez won’t be 21 until Sept. 17, making him the fourth youngest player in the big leagues this year. He batted .272 with 16 doubles, six triples, three homers, 78 runs and 38 steals in 54 attempts.

However, Francona isn’t worried that he will be overwhelmed by his big-league surroundings.

“Our player development people said he can handle it,” the manager said. “It won’t hurt his development.”

In addition to being able to play three positions, Ramirez can run.

Among the group are seven pitchers who can work out of the bullpen, including left-handers Hagadone and Rapada.

“With four left-handers [Rich Hill and Marc Rzepczynski are on the roster], it gives me more chances to match up,” said Francona, who likes the idea of having extra pitchers in the bullpen.

Most of the call-ups are being summoned to help the Tribe win now, but development is the goal with Lee.

“A guy like Lee might be able to make an impact in our bullpen next year,” Francona said. “If he got five or six appearances up here, it would help him.”

Kubel here, Carrasco not

The Indians needed a roster spot today to make room for Jason Kubel, so they optioned Carlos Carrasco to Columbus, but he will be there only briefly.

“This is not a demotion,” Francona said. “He wouldn’t have pitched tonight, and he’s coming back on Tuesday.”

Kubel, acquired Friday from the Diamondbacks, was not in the lineup Saturday night but might be today.

“We wanted to let him run around today, take BP and get his feet on the ground,” Francona said. I wouldn’t be surprised if we used him tomorrow.”

Happy to be here

“I’m excited to be here,” Kubel said. “This is a team I know pretty well, and I’m hoping to be part of it.”

Kubel renewed friendships with Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw, whom he played with for the Diamondbacks last year. He also will greet Ryan Raburn when the Indians return home Monday.

In 2004, Kubel was playing in the Arizona Fall League and tore his knee up when Raburn slid into him at second.

“Everything blew up, all the ligaments,” Kubel said. “But it was my fault.”

Kubel has no hard feelings and the two players have become friendly acquaintances over the years.

The knee remains a maintenance issue. Kubel said he has had it drained twice this year, once recently.

“I’m good to go now,” he said.

Time to start checking

For most of the season Francona was focused totally on winning the Central Division championship.

But with the Tigers holding a comfortable lead, it’s time to zero in on catching the Athletics, who hold the second wild-card spot.

“I’ve always looked at it,” Francona said. “First of all, it’s important.”

One thing is clear: the Tigers are the Tribe’s 2013 jinx team.

“Every year, there’s always a team like that,” Francona said. “One year, it was Baltimore (when he managed the Red Sox). Just like the Angels are to the Tigers. Sometimes there’s not a lot of explanations.”

Cooper flees

First baseman David Cooper, 26, signed as a free agent Aug. 13, has opted out of his contract.

He played in 72 games for the Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012, batting .279 with six homers and 23 RBI.

Because he had not played since last year, the Tribe sent Cooper to the Arizona Rookie League for six games before moving him up to Columbus, where he batted .192 in seven games.

Farm facts

Joe Martinez gave up two runs and six hits in 7⅔ innings in Columbus’ 3-2 loss to Toledo. … Robert Whitenack (1-3, 4.96 ERA) threw six scoreless innings, allowing one hit, as Carolina beat Lynchburg 5-0. Tony Wolters singled and had three RBI. … Caleb Hamrick (2-6, 3.42 ERA) gave up one earned run (three total) and five hits in five innings, as Mahoning Valley lost to Auburn 6-3. … Sean Brady pitched five shutout innings, allowing three hits, as the Arizona Indians lost 3-2 to the Rangers.

Sheldon Ocker can be reached at socker@thebeaconjournal.com.



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