Indians place Otero on IL, recall Smith

Bradley heating up at Columbus, and Indians have decisions to make

June 2nd, 2019

CLEVELAND -- In his eighth season in the big leagues, Indians reliever is making his first trip to the injured list.

Prior to Sunday afternoon’s 2-0 loss to the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Tribe announced that Otero was placed on the 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation. In a corresponding move, the club recalled left-hander Josh D. Smith from Triple-A Columbus.

“Other than his Tommy John surgery [in the Minors in 2009], he had never been on the [IL] and he takes a lot of pride in that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And I actually…I don’t know if I want to say I take pride for him, but I get it.”

Otero last took the mound on Thursday in his worst outing of the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on five hits through 1 2/3 frames against the White Sox. After his outing, he informed the coaching staff that he was feeling some pain in his shoulder.

“I mean this is a kid that pitches,” Francona said. “That’s why we were actually a little bit worried because when he said something, we’re like, ‘[Shoot,] if he said something...,’ because he’ll pitch. So, we don’t think it’s anything but inflammation, but we’re gonna get him scanned.”

After logging a 1.46 ERA through his first 11 games (through May 1), Otero has pitched to a 7.94 ERA with four home runs in 11 1/3 innings since. A quick trip to the injured list may benefit the right-hander, although the team did its best to avoid losing him for 10 days.

When he first felt the pain, Francona told him they’d keep him down for a few days to rest him, but if their bullpen was taxed in any of the upcoming games, then they’d have to put him on the IL to get another arm in the ’pen. After went just four innings in the Indians’ 5-2 victory against the White Sox on Saturday due to right lat tightness, the Tribe had to make the move for Smith.

“[Otero] kind of knew after the fourth inning yesterday,” Francona said. “He was almost waiting for me.”

Smith got his first call to the big leagues on May 25, and he made two appearances before getting sent back down to Columbus. In his first outing, he tossed 1 2/3 scoreless frames with three strikeouts against Tampa Bay. In his second trip to the rubber, the lefty allowed one run on one hit in one inning against the Red Sox.

Both Otero and Rodriguez will get an MRI back in Cleveland on Sunday night after the team returns home from Chicago.

“I think they prefer to do it back home just for the consistency of it,” Francona said. “Just to see where we’re at and then we’ll go from there.”

Positive reports flooding in for Bradley

has turned a lot of heads in Triple-A Columbus over the last two weeks, hitting .348 (16-for-46), with eight home runs, 21 RBIs and a 1.275 OPS in his last 11 games. While the Tribe definitely has him on its radar, a move for the first baseman would put in limbo.

The team would either need to option Bauers -- who slashed .194/.292/.301 with two homers, nine RBIs and 30 strikeouts in May -- to Triple-A or move an outfielder to make room for him. While the club has some decisions to work through if they consider bringing up Bradley, the positive reports on the 23-year-old first baseman keep coming.

“They’ve been really good. Really good,” Francona said. “Even talking about his baserunning, his defense, that he’s -- not that he’s gonna be a 50-base stealer, but being a big guy like that, being able to run the bases is important. Having guys clogging bases doesn’t help. The reports have been really positive.”

This date in Indians history

2008: Casey Blake went 3-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBIs to help the Indians to a 13-9 victory over the Texas Rangers.