Indians Gamble on Rzepczynski

The Indians dire need for a left handed relief pitcher cost them more than just Juan Herrera, a short season A level short stop with little upside. It actually cost the team the use of set-up man Vinnie Pestano, who has been sent to AAA for the first time since 2010. Instead of releasing Rich Hill and breaking ties with the only lefty on the Indians bullpen before the acquisition of Marc Rzepczynski, the Indians made use of the only player left on the team with options. This continues a trend that has lasted all season where Chris Antonetti and Terry Francona have decided to stick with less talented players with more favorable contract situations. In fact, the Indians have used two left handers (Nick Hagadone and Preston Guilmet) with varying degrees of success this season that are still available in AAA.

The gamble here lies in using two veteran left handed pitchers who have ERAs above 6.00 instead of two younger pitchers (say Pestano and Guilmet) who have had considerably better numbers this season. This team has a chance to actually play in the real World Series. At just two games behind Detroit and leading in the chase for the second American League Wild Card spot, the Indians are in a prime position to make it back into the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The casino odds may be improving for the Tribe however, as Hill has been improving in recent outings. He still has an ERA above six, but since the All-Star break he has allowed just two hits in three innings. Rzepczynski is still an unknown. He struggled with the Cardinals, but they didn't know exactly what to do with him and were switching him between long relief and starting. With the Indians he should be more comfortable in his old role, where he excelled as a member of the Cardinals as part of the 2011 World Series winning team.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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