The Indians dropped two players from their 40 man roster today, most likely to make room for a couple players who are currently on the 60 day DL. Three of the four Indians on the DL (Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Brantley and Josh Tomlin) will be activated before next season and will count against the 40 man roster. The two players released were Mitch Talbot and Jerad Head.
Talbot has been a consitant member of the Indians starting rotation for the last two season, starting 40 games over both years. He was less than effective with a final ERA of over 5.00 and a winning percent of .387. Last season (2010) the Indians just needed arms to fill out the rotation and go out on the mound every five days. That has changed with the addition of Ubaldo Jimenez. The rotation now stands as Justin Masterson, Jimenez, Tomlin, Fausto Carmona and one other pitcher (possibly David Huff or Jeanmar Gomez). With so much depth the Indians felt confident enough to give an average player like Talbot his release.
Head made his Major League debut this season, but has been a mainstay in the Indians farm system since 2006. He is in a similar situation to Talbot as he doesn’t really stand out when compared to the large amount of talented outfielders in the Indians system. He is actually in a worse position, because the Indians have many more Major League outfielders than can possibly be used on the roster next year. Starters Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Brantley will be back along with reserves Trevor Crowe, Ezequiel Carrera, Shelley Duncan and others that haven’t made it to the bigs yet. Grady Sizemore and Kosuke Fukudome could also return depending on how the Indians decide to work their roster. Head ended up playing in 10 games for the Tribe, hitting .125 and knocking in one run during that time.
In somewhat related, but older news, Travis Buck refused a minor league assignment right after the season ended so he is no longer a member of the Cleveland Indians. This is pretty unimportant news given everything written in the last paragraph.
Here is the official current 40 man roster courtesy of the tribeinsider on twitter.