The frustration of losing a 3-2 game to the Colorado Rockies in extra innings Wednesday and needing a walkoff home run Tuesday to win a game where they only allowed one run must have been enough to convince the Cleveland Indians to make a move for a bat.
According to reports from pretty much every major baseball reporter in the country, They acquired Mets OF and former Reds OF Jay Bruce Wednesday night for Low-A reliever Ryder Ryan. Bruce is making $12 million this year and is owed $5 million the rest of the season, which Cleveland is picking up in full. (So long Dolans cheap!)
The Indians have confirmed the trade but have not announced the corresponding roster move on the 25 or 40 man rosters. [Ed. note: Daniel Robertson was designated for assignment on 8/10 to make room on the 40 man roster].
Bruce was traded to the Mets from the Reds a year ago and was an Indians target at the deadline last year as well (and this deadline). After posting a career worse 92 wRC+ in 2015 and just 111 last year, Bruce is having a major rebound this year slashing .258/.324/.524 with 29 homers and a 121 wRC+. In addition to his offensive resurgence, Bruce also has been credited with seven DRS (defensive runs saved) this year after posting a -11 mark last year.
The move comes after the Indians have scored eight runs in their last four games and lost Michael Brantley to another right ankle injury in Tuesday night’s win. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday morning and is awaiting more testing before the Indians have a time table on the All-Star outfielder’s return. It’s possible this may not be a good sign for his prognosis but there’s been no word as of yet.
The Indians are also still missing Lonnie Chisenhall who has been out since before the All-Star break with a calf injury. Terry Francona said Wednesday that he ran the bases and could head out on a rehab assignment soon but there hasn’t been any date set for that either.
As for the prospect Ryder Ryan, he was the Indians 30th round pick in 2016 and played third base at the University of North Carolina. He pitched just a few innings, but the Indians liked him as a pitcher enough to work with him there. Ryan can touch 97 with the fastball and an interesting slider that could be a plus pitch in the future. He has 49 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings this year for the Lake County Captains and was a mid-season Midwest League All-Star. His ERA is 4.79 and has given 14 runs in his last 10 games, potentially hitting a bit of a wall with innings as this is just his second full year of pitching.