Vizcaino on board, Sowers ousted

The Indians made the expected roster move of signing RHP Luis Vizcaino and adding him to the Major League roster today. He’ll assume a spot in the Tribe’s bullpen after getting cut by the Cubs on April 23. The Cubs are paying Vizcaino $3.5 million this season, and the Indians only have to pay him the pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum.

What wasn’t as expected was the corresponding roster move. LHP Jeremy Sowers was sent back to Triple-A Columbus after two spot starts.

Sowers was slated to start Sunday here in Tampa Bay, so the Indians have an opening now. Perhaps they’ll move LHP Aaron Laffey back to the rotation. Otherwise, they’ll make another roster move this weekend.

I’ll have more info tonight, after we talk to the manager.

UPDATE: Laffey won’t be moved back to the rotation — at least, not on this turn through. Wedge made that clear. So it looks like somebody’s going to get the call from Columbus.

Who? Well, David Huff makes the most sense, as he’s inarguably the best arm in the starting staff down there, and Sunday would be his fifth day after getting the win over Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. GM Mark Shapiro said the Indians wanted to see better fastball command and secondary stuff from Huff before he’s ready to come up, but that was before Sowers blew up Tuesday night. Things change in a hurry around here.

It won’t be Tomo Ohka or Kirk Saarloos, because they just pitched in today’s doubleheader. The only other options, then, are LHP Zach Jackson (1-2, 5.84 ERA in five appearances, including two starts) and RHP Jack Cassel (2-3, 7.52 ERA in six starts), but Cassel is slated to pitch Friday.

Jackson is on the 40-man. Huff is not, but that can change. We should know the answer tomorrow.    

25 Comments

What will be Vizcaino role? Middle relief? Setup?

despite his flashes of pure dominance (2006 post AS break of 6-2, 2.73 ERA in 11 GS) I think the Burnin’ Cuyahoga brass need to come to the realization that Jeremy Sowers is a 4-A pitching talent. A depressing realization albeit necessary to move on in the future.

Wow. That was a bit left field.
I can’t imagine they consider Vizcaino a viable replacement for Laffey in the ‘pen (particularly since he’s a righty). It would be strange to move Laffey back already, what with the fact that he’s been the best reliever they have.
Is it time to give Huff a shot? Ohka’s been the next best starter in Columbus. He was supposed to start yesterday, but that came was canceled due to rain…and according to the Clippers site, he’s not starting today.

Nope, scratch all my sleuthing. Ohka’s starting the second game for the Clippers today, according to the Columbus Dispatch (although he was originally held back by the Tribe).
Huff is on the same pitching schedule Sowers. That’s my only guess.

I think Aaron Laffey has proven that he deserves to be in the rotation. Granted, moving him to the pen gave the Tribe a consistent reliever who could actually get batters out and hold a lead. However, I think it’s time to stop throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks. Laffey’s a starter, and he belongs in the rotation.

agreed that sowers just doesn’t yet seem to have what it takes to stay in the major leagues…at least not past 2 times through whoever’s lineup.
i’m hoping the vizcaino signing works out to the point where we abandon the horrific hector rondon relief experiment.
i absolutely cannot believe we are messing with this potential phenom by bouncing him to the bullpen at akron. someone must be incredibly desperate in our front office.
the recently turned 21 year old rondon, who’s begun the aa season by going 5-0 with a 1.23 era, should not be touched.
i don’t care who’s job may be at stake or what perceived “window of opportunity” may be on the line, leave this kid alone! let him develop.
gm’s and managers are much easier to find than a young talent like hector rondon. do you hear me, mr. dolan?

Amen Jam292 !!!!

But Laffey in the bullpen HAS stuck. And no one has stepped up since he was moved there and proven that he’s still not needed, particularly not the other lefty (I’m lookin’ at you, Sipp). If the bullpen had improved since he was moved, I would understand putting him back in the rotation. But they have more rotation options (Huff, Ohka, and eventually they get Lewis back) than they do relief options (although Rundles looks like he should get a shot soon).

Oh, and since my last crazy idea seemed to happen, I’m going to throw another one out there. I know this rarely happens in the Majors, but it DOES happen — promotion from AA to the Majors, skipping AAA. Didn’t the Tigers do that with a pitcher last year? So there’s my new crazy idea: Rondon gets the call.
Hey, I said it was crazy.

David Huff should start on Sunday vs the rays, leave Laffey in the pen. The pen may get a workout this weekend and Laffey can help there. Sowers can take Huff’s place in the rotation in Columbus. GO TRIBE.

I am both surprised and very pleased with this move. In a word, Sowers sucks. He has no value to this team. And it seems for once this season, management made the proper call with his demotion. I, personally, feel Lafey should be moved back to the rotation, but if he remains in the pen, he would be an asset there too.
I am curious to see how the 5th starter will be handled. Will it be a revolving door between Columbus and Cleveland? Will they sign a free agent? Will they make a trade?

in response to joeybelle: I have two words for you that will NEVER happen but still an intriguing idea depending on the pricetag for a 5th starter: Pedro Martinez

amseley -
that was the name I was thinking of too.
This organization continues these desparate and inept moves to plug holes here and there.
I would be willing to bet Pedro could be signed to an incentive deal similar to Pavano’s (and at this point in the season – the deal would be considerable less). If nothing else, Byrd could be signed to a similar deal (though I would not prefer that). I would much rather have this scenario then a different call up every 5th day just to have a fresh arm on the mound.

Why not David Huff? Lets face it the Indians are cheap. They dont want to lose an option year on him. Thats why he hasnt been brought up. Meanwhile, the Indians are 14-22. 8 games under with this line up…please! Trading lack of talent and wins for the ability to hold onto a pitcher for another year and be cheap. Shapiro is always trying to bargin the Indians way to the top. I mean if the man swallowed a quarter, 2 nickels would come out! Does anyone notice he has had 1 playoff team (by default because the White Soxs and Tigers were injured) in the 8 or so years he has been the GM??? Come on people, doesnt that deserve some scrutiny? Constantly relying on “has been” players that arent getting the job done. Sowers needs to be traded. He cant get it done at the next level. Look at his stats. Stop losing games for us Jeremy. Get something for all we have invested. Laffey should be starting. Beside Lee, he is the only one getting it done. Pavano, Carmona, and Reyes are inconsistent. The reason the pen is terrible is because its over used (HALFWAY THROUGH THE 1ST HALF OF THE SEASON ALREADY). These 3 guys cant make it passed the 5th inning regularly so Wedge is forced to do make shift moves. Hermann is a great starter. Leave him there and bring David Huff up. From what i gather he should of been up last year but Shapiro is TOO CHEAP to lose an option year then & now and pay the rookie the minimum salary!! For god sakes, give us fans a winning team already. We have waited long enough.

Tied for the most wins in baseball and one win from the world series is hardly “by default,” particularly since the Tigers and White Sox had nothing to do with those things.

The wool has sadly been pulled over your eyes my friend… 1 year out of how many for Mark? Not a good success rate if you ask me.

Apparently, Vizcaino spot is anything but relief. Pitch to a batter, give a game-winning dinger.

Apparently, Vizcaino spot is anything but relief. Pitch to a batter, give a game-winning dinger.

If I don’t get cut short again, I see desperation in the words of my fellow fans. Play anyone, it might work? Anything we’ve had at this level has been played. So, throw the innocence into the fray. At what cost to them and, long term, to us? The crux of the matter is it is not the players who are at fault, it is the lack of the right call when needed. Players don’t do that; management does. We still don’t have two wins in a row against the same team; it’s only mid-May, why should I worry?

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