The Indians have done a lot of roster shuffling in the past weeks, so Burning River Baseball will try to sort it all out for you. Most of this began less than a month ago, on June 17th, when Travis Hafner came off the disabled list. To make room for Hafner, Travis Buck sent down to AAA. The next day Matt LaPorta was injured, marking the return of Buck. Buck’s stay was short lived as 6 games later he was again sent down to AAA for Shelley Duncan. This was also a one day trip as Shin-Soo Choo was added to the disabled list the next day after he was hit by a pitch. Two days later Lonnie Chisenhall made his Major League debut and the corresponding roster move lead to the release of veteran infielder Adam Everett.
Two days after that Chris Perez was placed on the bereavement list and Josh Judy was promoted from AAA for the second time this season. After two days on bereavement, Perez returned to take the place of Fausto Carmona who hurt himself running the bases and was added to the 15 day DL. A few days after that Matt LaPorta returned from his base running injury and took Josh Judy’s spot on the roster as he was returned to the Clippers.
Yesterday, Zach McAllister was brought up to make a spot start for Carmona, so Cord Phelps was sent back to Columbus. This move left the Indians without any infield depth so as soon as McAllister’s night was over, he was returned to AAA to make room for super utility player Luis Valbuena.
I guess the only point of all this is that Adam Everett is gone and Luis Valbuena is here. But now you know.
This will be Valbuena’s second stint on the Indians this season, although he did not get into a game during his last time up. As stated the last time he was brought up, Luis had a fantastic Spring and has been a star on an amazing Clippers team. Valbuena is hitting .313/.379/.511 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI. While he has still not figured out base running (3 times caught stealing in 6 attempts) his real asset is the ability to play almost every position. The Indians can confidently place him at 2B, SS, 3B or any outfield spot and not have to worry about using a below average player there.
Truthfully, Jason Kipnis is having a slightly better season in almost every offensive category, but the Indians must want Valbuena’s veteran, known ability rather than risk bringing another rookie up right now. I would really like to see Valbuena get a real chance to prove himself this time, as he has shown glimpses of possible 20/20 talent over his 3 years with the Indians. I would hate to see the Indians give up on him and have him turn into a star, or even a good utility player on some other team.