Tribe 'pen takes another blow: Marshall hits DL
Right-hander Kontos called up from Triple-A; Indians sign two Draft picks
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have not installed a revolving door at the entrance to their bullpen. It just feels that way.
Prior to Tuesday's game against the White Sox, Cleveland's ever-changing relief corps lost Evan Marshall to the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow. The reliever is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday to gather more information. To replace Marshall in the bullpen, the Indians purchased the contract of righty George Kontos from Triple-A Columbus.
When Kontos throws a pitch for the Indians, he will become the 18th different player to make a relief appearance this season for the ballclub. That includes outfielder Brandon Guyer's first career pitching appearance on Saturday against the Twins. Only the Rays (21), Dodgers (19) and Marlins (19) have used more relievers this season than the Indians.
Indians manager Terry Francona said the high level of turnover creates challenges not only for the manager and his coaches, but for the pitchers involved.
"One, [you try to] get familiarity as quick as you can with what they do," Francona said. "The other thing is, it's easy for me to sit here and say, 'Hey, just go pitch and compete.' But, when guys are pitching or playing and when the inning's over, they're like, 'Oh, I got 'em out. I can stay here,' and they're pitching for their baseball life, it is hard for them. I get it.
"There's movement up and down. [Closer] Cody Allen knows when he has a bad inning, he's going to go out the next day and pitch if the situation calls for it. Other guys, sometimes there's a chance they're going to get sent down or designated. So, that makes it a little harder."
Marshall exited Monday's 6-2 win over the White Sox after throwing a 1-0 pitch to Jose Abreu in the eighth inning and now joins relievers Andrew Miller (right knee), Tyler Olson (left lat strain) and Nicholas Goody (right elbow) on the DL for Cleveland. On Tuesday, Marshall compared the sensation he experienced to slamming your funny bone on a table. That was followed by numbness in his arm and tingling in his fingers.
Kontos, 33, signed a Minor League contract with the Indians after being released by the Pirates on May 28. The righty posted a 5.03 ERA in 21 appearances for Pittsburgh, but has since logged 7 2/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen for Triple-A Columbus.
In 343 career games, Kontos has a 3.11 ERA in parts of eight seasons between stints with the Yankees, Giants and Pirates. The right-hander relies on a sinker, cutter and slider mix and turned in a 2.76 ERA in 219 big league games across the 2014-17 seasons.
"Hopefully, he comes in and [helps us win]," Francona said. "We've all seen relievers that, they get a fresh start, they get on a roll, because of how volatile the relievers can be. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing him pitch."
Tribe signs two Draft picks
The Indians announced on Tuesday that they have signed Lenny Torres Jr., the No. 41 overall pick in the 2018 Draft.
Torres, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander from Beacon High School (New York), was selected in the Competitive Balance Round A. The Indians received the pick after Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies in free agency during the offseason. According to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Cleveland signed Torres for $1.35 million, below the $1,744,800 value assigned to the No. 41 pick.
"[He's] an impressive kid," Indians director of amateur scouting Scott Barnsby said. "We saw him several times last summer. ... Lenny's been up to 96 [mph], [has] life to the fastball. It's a really quick arm. His slider has really progressed. We feel like he's got a chance to have a solid average-to-plus slider. A developing feel for the changeup. Throws strikes. Looking to develop him as a starter."
Barnsby said when they got to No. 41 and Torres was available, he was an easy pick to make.
"We spent a lot of time with Lenny," Barnsby said. "Not only at some offseason meetings, but we also spent a lot of time with Lenny and his family this spring and feel really comfortable and excited about adding Lenny to the organization."
The Indians also signed seventh-round pick Cody Morris (No. 223 overall) on Tuesday.
Morris, a 6-foot-5, 222-pound right-hander from the University of South Carolina, led the Gamecocks with a 9-3 record and posted a 3.46 ERA in 83 1/3 innings this season.