Indians promote Soto, Martinez from Triple-A
Moncrief designated for assignment, House transferred to 60-day DL
DETROIT -- The Indians added a pair of players prior to Friday's 8-1 win over the Tigers, giving the bench an extra hand and the bullpen an additional arm.
Cleveland purchased the contracts of both infielder Michael Martinez and left-hander Giovanni Soto from Triple-A Columbus, increasing the Tribe's active roster to 30 players. In order to clear room on the 40-man roster for both players, the Indians designated Minor League outfielder Carlos Moncrief for assignment and transferred lefty TJ House (left shoulder) to the 60-day disabled list.
Martinez and Soto join right-handed relievers Gavin Floyd and Shawn Armstrong and corner infielder Chris Johnson as the five players the Indians have added since rosters expanded on Tuesday.
Soto is a 24-year-old former starting pitcher who has turned heads with impressive performances since transitioning to the bullpen. At Double-A Akron last season -- his first as a full-time reliever -- Soto carried a 3.23 ERA and a 2.73 Fielding Independent Pitching in 53 relief innings. This year, in Triple-A Columbus, he has a 2.68 ERA and a 3.18 FIP in 53 2/3 innings.
"We wanted to get another lefty and Giovanni has had a really good year," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It seems like this year, he started to understand some of the things that were necessary for him to start to pitch like he can. Hi numbers have been really good. We wanted to give us a chance to have more than one lefty. So, we're going to get a chance to get a look at him just to see if and how much and where he fits moving forward."
Martinez is a 32-year-old utility man who was a candidate to make the big league roster out of Spring Training. Martinez has played parts of four Major League seasons, starting with Philadelphia in 2011 and most recently appearing for Pittsburgh in '14. He's played every position except catcher and first base in the big leagues, and he owns a career slash line of .181/.231/.251 in 440 plate appearances. He was batting .289/.344/.424 in Columbus this season, primarily playing second base.
"He impressed everybody this spring with how he went about everything," Francona said. "He goes to Triple-A and by all accounts, [Columbus manager Chris Tremie], everybody, [said] he was probably the best teammate in the organization this year. ... We thought it made sense, because if we feel like he can be a utility guy on our team next year, we should probably watch him do that for a month"