With the final month of the season about to begin, speculation is rampant about who could get a late-season look for a faltering Cleveland team. There are a few notable names on the Tribe’s roster that could play a season in a Cleveland uniform, so let’s take a look at five guys who are most likely to get the call.
Manny Acta has hinted that there’s a possibility of the Indians using a six-man rotation for the final month of the season. The most likely candidates join the staff are David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez. Both have had prolonged stints in Cleveland’s rotation with their fair share of impressive flashes, but neither has enjoyed any kind of sustained success with the parent club.
Both currently pitch at Triple-A Columbus. Huff’s ERA sits at 5.24 and his strikeout rate is a paltry 5.2 K/9. Gomez has been better with a 4.41 ERA and 7.0 K/9, which may give him the leg up on that extra rotation spot. But Huff is still a lefty, and having a six-man rotation made entirely of right-handers may be a little ridiculous, which could give Huff the edge.
It is also possible that the Indians decide to promote both and have one pitch out of the bullpen, or decide to stick with the current five man rotation.
A dark horse for that final starting spot could be Scott Barnes. It’s unlikely, as he has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this year, starting only three games. But Barnes’ future could still remain in the rotation and Cleveland may want to see what he can do there in the final month of the season. Either way he is still likely to get a call-up as he can serve as a left-handed innings eater-out of the bullpen with some upside (he has a 11.9 K/9 at Triple-A this year).
One of the plethora of the 1B/LF/DH tweeners the Tribe have stashed away at Triple-A Columbus, Russ Canzler may push his way into a bench spot in Cleveland for the month of September. Canzler has played all over the field and still hit well to the tune of a .261/.325/.476 slashline with 21 home runs to boot. While many other batters at Triple-A Columbus have certainly merited a call up, Canzler is at the top of the list.
Once a fast-rising prospect in Cleveland’s system, Phelps has been lost and forgotten about since the emergence of Jason Kipnis at second base, Phelps’ primary position. Because of this, many expected him to develop into one of the better utility infielders around the league, but he just hasn’t hit the same since his terrible 35-game stint with the Major League squad in 2011 (.155/.241/.254).
Thus far in 2012 Phelps has played remarkably well (.277/.367/.460 slashline witih 16 home runs), making it likely he receives the call on September 1. The Indians love to horde utility infielders, and Phelps may hold the most upside of any such player in the organization.