CLEVELAND -- Following a season full of fractured bones and muscle strains, the Indians can officially clear off their injured list.
With the offseason now in full swing, the club had some decisions to make regarding the seven men who ended the year on the IL. On Monday afternoon, the Indians announced that they have re-instated Christian Arroyo, Corey Kluber and Tyler Naquin from the 60-day IL to bring their roster total to 38 players.
Arroyo was acquired from the Rays at the Trade Deadline, but has yet to make his debut with the Tribe due to battling right forearm tendinitis for the majority of the year. The 24-year-old has spent time at the Indians’ Spring Training facility in Arizona and could be an option at second or third base in 2020.
While Kluber (right forearm fracture, left oblique strain) is expected to be ready in time for Spring Training, Naquin is currently projected to return to Major League game activity between April and June after undergoing ACL surgery in September.
The foursome outrighted off the 40-man roster experienced frustrating endings to their 2019 seasons. Anderson had gone through two full years without pitching at the Major League level and after his return this season was shut down once again to have surgery on his right elbow. Cole was placed on the IL on Aug. 10 with a right shoulder impingement after posting a 3.81 ERA in 25 appearances with the Tribe and Olson couldn’t overcome a battle with shingles, sidelining him for the last two months of the year.
And then there’s Salazar. The Indians have been on a rollercoaster of a journey with the 29-year-old hurler that began with his All-Star season in 2016. He then missed the entire ‘18 season with a shoulder injury, but the Indians decided to bring him back for $4.5 million in ‘19. Following a year in Arizona, Salazar finally escaped the desert and made his way back to the big leagues on Aug. 1, but injured his groin muscle during the four innings he spent on the rubber. He briefly attempted another rehab process, but ultimately requested that he take some personal time at his home in Tampa, Fla. at the end of the year.
The Indians have two remaining spots on their 40-man roster. The club has until Nov. 20 to set its roster for the Rule 5 Draft. The top two players the team will need to add in that time are right-hander Triston McKenzie and outfielder Daniel Johnson.