Tribe adds Barnes, Rosales to expanded roster

September 4th, 2018
Cleveland Indians center fielder Brandon Barnes, right, and second baseman Rob Refsnyder, left, wait their turn to take batting practice at the Indians spring training facility Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Ross D. Franklin/AP

CLEVELAND -- Two more players will be joining the Indians' push to clinch their third straight American League Central championship.
The team announced Tuesday it selected the contracts of outfielder and infielder from Triple-A Columbus, bringing the Major League roster to 31 players. It's the second wave of moves the organization has made since the roster expanded on Sept. 1, when the club called up catching prospect (the Indians' No. 24 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) and pitcher Jon Edwards.
None of the callups were in the Tribe's starting lineup Tuesday against the Royals, but manager Terry Francona said the move provides a chance to bolster the team's depth through the grind of September.
"We looked kind of dead in the water," said Francona, who also held out on Tuesday and plans to rest for the series finale Wednesday. "We're going to keep an eye on the other guys, and that doesn't change how you play the game. The object is whoever plays, we're supposed to win and do whatever we can and we will, but I'm also going to make sure we keep guys, guys that have a lot of at-bats, make sure we're keeping them [fresh]."
Barnes, 32, spent the entire season with Columbus, and he batted .273 with a .791 OPS, 39 doubles -- which led the International League -- two triples, 14 home runs and 81 RBIs in 132 games. The midseason and postseason International League All-Star appeared at all three outfield positions and specialized against left-handed pitching, finishing the regular season hitting .310 with a .951 OPS. Barnes last appeared in the Majors with the Rockies in 2016.
With converting to center field, Francona said Barnes won't likely play much unless the Tribe is in a pinch. But given Barnes' season, Francona felt he was worthy of the callup.
"He's a kid that never got a callup this year and he was very deserving, more than once," Francona said of Barnes. "[He] just put his head down and did the right thing and hopefully it just gives us a chance to keep him for next year, because all of a sudden when guys maybe aren't here, he fits a heck of a lot better."
Rosales, a 35-year-old utility infielder, also spent the whole season with Columbus, and he hit .239 in 114 games, also appearing in games at all four infield positions. The Chicago native was released by the Phillies after Spring Training concluded, and he signed with the Tribe on March 27.
Francona praised the versatility Rosales brings to provide flexibility until the end of the season, allowing his everyday players to rest up in time for the postseason.
"Rosales is kind of a guy who can play anywhere," Francona said. "He's a really good callup as far as a guy that has five different gloves, he's enthusiastic to do anything and a good guy to have on the ballclub for this month."
The Indians also recalled right-handler from Triple-A and placed him on the 60-day disabled list. To free up space on the 40-man roster, outfielder was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL.
The Clippers (73-67) finished the season Monday with an 8-1 win over Triple-A Toledo, sparked by a grand slam from recently acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson finished 1-for-2 with a walk in his first rehab game with the Tribe since arriving with the team Saturday. The 32-year-old 2015 AL MVP Award winner is expected to be at Progressive Field to work out before continuing his rehab stint with Double-A Akron, which will begin its playoff series with Double-A Altoona, on Tuesday.
Heading into Tuesday, the Tribe's magic number to clinch the division is 12 games.
Worth noting
Update on Miller: Francona said relief ace will likely throw a bullpen session Thursday when the team travels to Toronto to begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays. The left-hander was placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 27 with a left shoulder impingement, but isn't expected to miss more than the minimum time.
Carrasco nominated for award: Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that was named the Indians nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player from each MLB club who best represents baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field.
Carrasco received the nomination in part because of the two charitable foundations -- the Carlos Carrasco Children's Foundation in the U.S., and Fundacion Carlos Carrasco in Venezuela -- within the last year. Further, Carrasco has participated in baseball clinics and donated supplies for low-income kids in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, India and Tampa Bay, Fla. Carrasco has also provided funds and supplies to communities in Puerto Rico after the island was struck by Hurricane Maria last fall.