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Indians Designate Duncan for Assignment as Skid Continues

 

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When your offense doesn’t score a run in 22 innings, somebody has to go. In the Cleveland Indians’ case, that someone is going to be utility man Shelley Duncan, who opened the season as their starting left fielder and leaves the team hitting just .138 (9-for-65) over the last 21 games dating back to mid-July. Truth be told, Duncan isn’t really hitting any worse than any other Indians player right now, but they have an abundance of outfielders including some who could get called up from Triple-A Columbus next week, and the Indians needed to make room on their roster to add another arm given that there is no certainty that Roberto Hernandez will be able to make his next start due to his sprained ankle.

Now that Duncan is out of the picture, the Indians have recalled starter Jeanmar Gomez from Columbus and will place him in the bullpen for now to give some of their taxed arms a much needed break. Gomez began the season in the Tribe’s rotation, but he fizzled out and was sent back down to the minors after going 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA through mid-June. At Columbus, Gomez managed to turn things around a bit and went 6-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 11 starts with the Clippers. It is not out of the question that Gomez will get some starts for the Tribe as the season winds down to allow him the opportunity to audition for a possible spot in what will likely be a very different starting rotation in 2013. The Indians have 10 days to either trade, release or, should he clear waivers, reassign Duncan to a minor league team. Given their outfield depth, and Duncan’s lack of output this season, it is unlikely that the Indians will keep him around when the dust settles though, so look for Ezequiel Carrera and Matt LaPorta to get the bulk of playing time in left field for the remainder of the season.

 

 

By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent

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