Martin arrives; 'really happy' to be with Indians

Center fielder excited to participate in pennant chase; Miller, Tomlin making progress in rehab

August 1st, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- was in Miami on Monday, using the Tigers' off-day to spend some time at home. When the center fielder traveled back to Detroit one day later, his phone buzzed shortly after he stepped off the plane with plans of heading to the West Coast with his teammates.

Instead, Martin was needed in Minnesota. He had been traded to the Indians.

"As soon as I landed, I got a phone call," Martin said. "My agent called me and said, 'This is going to happen.' I'm really happy to be here, man. I have to thank the Detroit Tigers organization for giving me the opportunity to be part [of their team]."

Martin arrived in Minneapolis late on Tuesday night and joined the American League Central-leading Tribe for Wednesday's game against the Twins. Prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Cleveland reeled in the center fielder, along with Minor League pitcher Kyle Dowdy, in exchange for shortstop prospect .

In order to clear room on the active roster, the Indians optioned rookie outfielder to Triple-A Columbus.

With the Indians, Martin will handle the bulk of the innings in center field, splitting time with veteran . The addition boosts Cleveland's outfield defensive and provides the lower-third of the lineup with a left-handed batter that has excelled against right-handed pitching (113 wRC+) this season.

Indians manager Terry Francona sat down with Martin on Wednesday morning to welcome him to the club and go over the plans.

"I just kind of told him how I view it and that he's going to play a lot -- certainly against righties," Francona said. "And there's probably going to be some lefties that he faces. But, I want he and Raj to complement each other. He comes with a really good reputation of being a good team-first guy, good in the clubhouse. So, we're kind of excited to get him going."

Martin was excited to get started with his new team, too.

"It's amazing to be here," Martin said. "This is the type of team you have to fight through nine innings [against], especially facing the pitchers. It's one of the best pitching [staffs] in the league, one of the best five-man rotations in the league. It's really tough, especially when you play in the same division. But, now I have an opportunity to be here."

Martin cracked a smile.

"And I don't have to face them anymore," he added. "So, that's amazing. They went to the World Series a couple years ago. They have a lot of good, young guys who want to play baseball and veteran guys. I think we can do it. I came here to help."

Worth noting

• Indians relief ace (60-day disabled list, right knee) completed back-to-back rehab appearances with Triple-A Columbus on Monday and Tuesday. In 1 2/3 innings combined, Miller faced the minimum, logged 20 pitches (15 strikes) and struck out two batters.

Francona, pitching coach Carl Willis and the team's medical staff will now discuss the next step with Miller. That could be a multi-inning rehab outing or coming off the DL for Friday's game against the Angels.

"If anybody misses him, it's me," Francona said. "Because, I know what he can do when we get him on a roll. That starts to get exciting. We saw what the addition of [Brad] Hand and [Adam] Cimber can do. You add Andrew, it has a chance to get exciting."

• Right-hander Josh Tomlin (10-day DL, right hamstring) felt good on Wednesday morning -- a day after throwing a simulated game at Target Field. He is now scheduled to start a Minor League rehab assignment on Friday and will log mult-inning outings throughout the stint.

"He's so easy to work with that we want to get his input," Francona said. "But, the idea behind it is to pitch enough to use all your pitches, but not pitch too much where, if something happens [with the MLB pitchinng staff], you're four days away from being available."