CLEVELAND -- The Indians are gradually trimming down the numbers from their main Summer Camp, preparing to be left with 30 players in seven days.
On Friday, Indians manager Terry Francona informed lefty starters Scott Moss and Logan Allen that they’ll be reassigned to the club's alternate training site at Class A Lake County. The team also told utility man Jake Elmore that he will move to the Lake County camp before Opening Day, but that he will stay at Progressive Field for the final week of Summer Camp to help fill out intrasquad lineups.
“We’ve talked to them about it,” Francona said. “[We said], ‘Hey, we get it, man. It’s gonna be the first of August. It’s going to be like Groundhog Day. But you could be in Lake County and the next day pitching in Minnesota. So you got to find a way every day to treat it like it’s a chance to get better.’”
Allen pitched Thursday night, and he allowed three earned runs on two hits with four walks and one strikeout. In his previous intrasquad start last week, the lefty labored through three frames, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, including three homers. But Cleveland has been encouraged with Allen’s development since joining the organization through the Trevor Bauer trade last July.
“I think his delivery has improved tremendously,” Indians pitching coach Carl Willis said. “He put a lot of hard work into it. ... Really, he continues to improve. I thought [on Thursday] he did a very good job.”
Moss took the mound Wednesday, and he allowed two runs on six hits through four frames. The southpaw is another hurler the Indians obtained in the three-team Bauer trade, and he’s enjoyed the Tribe’s use of analytics. Now, Moss’ goal is to make the necessary adjustments to be able to get his first call to the big leagues.
“Consistency is what I lived on the last four years, and I started to kind of slip away,” Moss said, “And now I’m trying to get back to being consistent. It’s consistency through delivery, through my arm slot, through what I do on a daily basis to be ready for games, and that’s what it is for me to be a starter in the Major Leagues.”
“It’s easy to dream,” Francona said of Moss’ future. “It’s easy to look at the body and the delivery and the pitch mix and you think, ‘OK, that can play.’ And we told him that. And he’s a confident kid. I think he thinks he’s ready now. And you know what? He might be.”
The Indians are down to 38 players who are still competing to make the Opening Day roster. As Allen, Moss, Elmore and Anthony Gose , whom the Tribe talked to earlier this week, were told they'd be moving to the Lake County site, Francona relayed the same message: “Go knock the door down. Go make us call you up.”
Six for six
The Indians have come to terms with all six of their 2020 MLB Draft picks after agreeing to a deal with Tanner Burns, whom they selected in the Competitive Balance Round A. According to MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis, Burns agreed to sign for $1.6 million, which is less than the $2.045 million slot value for the 36th overall pick.
Burns is a right-handed starter, and he was the Friday night starter at Auburn University. His fastball sits around 92-93 mph, but he’s touched 96 mph. He has two breaking balls that have the ability to miss bats, and he became one of just two Auburn pitchers over the past 20 seasons to fan at least 100 batters in a season (101).
“I found out they're really good [at drafting] pitchers,” Burns said. "You know, you don't see the Indians going out and buying players. They must be doing something right in seeing guys they draft and getting them to the big leagues. ... I feel like I'm very blessed of being in a program like Auburn, and then getting drafted by Cleveland. They're good at developing pitchers and, you know, they're trying to get [them] into the big leagues.”