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Lewis DLed, Roster Changes Coming?

April 11, 2009
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Well, we are barely three days into the start of the minor league season, and already it looks like we are going to have a couple of moves coming down the pipeline in the next 12-24 hours. The Indians earlier today placed lefty Scott Lewis on the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow strain, and purchased the contract of Vinnie Chulk from Triple-A Columbus.

Now, as a result of this move, you could have several moves in conjunction with it. First off, since one of Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, or David Huff will be recalled to Cleveland to fill Lewis' void for his next scheduled start on April 15th, a starter will have to be promoted to Columbus or they will need to move righty Tomo Ohka to the vacated starter role. A starter should not be called up until the day before or even the day of Lewis' scheduled start on the 15th, so it will be interesting to see over the next few days who gets the call (probably Laffey).

Now, if Ohka is moved into the starter's role in Columbus, then that will leave a bullpen spot open. Already there is one bullpen spot open since Chulk was added to the Cleveland roster, but when the new 5th starter is called up to Cleveland it is expected a reliever is sent down to Columbus. Who that reliever will be is a tough guess at this point, and each player has different restrictions to be sent down, but the best candidates to go down would be Chulk, Zach Jackson, Masa Kobayashi, Joe Smith, or Jensen Lewis. Looking at that list, it would almost seem likely Chulk is the odd man out unless he has another solid outing like he did today with Cleveland.

If Ohka is kept in relief, then it looks like righty Frank Herrmann may get the nod and go from Double-A Akron to Columbus. Most people, including myself, think he should be there anyway. If Ohka moves to starter, then that means one of the Akron relievers moves up, most likely righty Randy Newsom.

And then the domino effect begins, because as a starter or reliever is called up from Akron, a starter or reliever will need to be moved up from advanced Single-A Kinston to Akron, a starter or reliever will need to be moved up from Single-A Lake County to Kinston, and then a starter or reliever will need to be moved up from extended spring training to Lake County. There is the possibility no one is called up from Lake County, and instead the starter or reliever in extended spring training goes right to Kinston.

I think Ohka will be moved to starter, and then that would mean Newsom goes to Columbus, lefty Matt Meyer goes to Akron, and righty Mike Pontius is activated from extended and goes to Kinston. That's my guess at the moment.

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