The minor league level closest to Cleveland features double-digit players on the 40-man roster.
The minor league season begins today! With such a majority of the players participating in Cleveland’s alternate site the past month, the Triple-A roster was just announced.
Here’s the expected roster for Triple-A Columbus:
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) May 4, 2021
The Columbus pitching staff features four starters who are on Cleveland’s 40-man roster. Logan Allen began the 2021 season as the No. 4 starter in Cleveland’s rotation, but command issues earned him a demotion, and hopefully he can figure it out in Columbus.
The other starting pitchers to keep an eye on are Jean Carlos Mejia, a 24-year-old Dominican who might be the next man up if Sam Hentges or Triston McKenzie need to be sent down; Eli Morgan, a 24-year-old right-hander out of Gonzaga with deceptive strikeout ability; and Scott Moss, a 26-year-old southpaw who was one of the returns in the Trevor Bauer deal.
Kyle Nelson has already made it to Cleveland and should be back soon. Other bullpen arms worth paying attention to are Anthony Gose, a converted former utility player who throws 100 mph, Robert Broom, a sidearmer with a career minor league ERA of 0.93, and Dalbert Siri, a 25-year-old Dominican who’s recorded 44 saves in the Cleveland system already.
There aren’t any elite prospects in the catching department in Columbus, which is usually reserved for veterans who can be called up in a pinch in case of injury. The most notable player is Gavin Collins, who has been above average almost every season since he was drafted in 2016, most recently posting a 108 wRC+ at High-A in 2019.
The infield is absolutely loaded with players who can help Cleveland this season. No. 1 prospect Nolan Jones will primarily play third base, but also should get reps in the corner outfield in case he’s needed, while CTC No. 8 prospect Gabriel Arias looks primed to play shortstop with slugger Bobby Bradley manning first base. Owen Miller and Ernie Clement can both play multiple positions, and Miller has particularly impressed with his bat the past month at the alternate site.
The outfield features three speedy center fielders in Daniel Johnson, Bradley Zimmer, and Oscar Mercado, who all have had stints in Cleveland but have not been able to perform at a high level consistently enough to stay there. Perhaps they can build up confidence at Triple-A and contribute to the big league club this season.