The Indians made a roster move today as catcher/outfielder Chris Gimenez was purchased from the Columbus Clippers. To make room on the 40-man and 25-man roster, the team designated backup catcher Mike Redmond for assignment. The veteran had only appeared in three games since June 8th and with Carlos Santana firmly in command in Cleveland, was becoming much more expendable to the organization.
Gimenez returns to the major leagues where he spent the majority of the final four months of the 2009 season. For those that recall, he homered against the Minnesota Twins in just his second game in the bigs back on June 4th but finished with a .144 batting average in 45 games played. Redmond was batting just .206 in his 22 games, but at 39 years old, is much older than the more versatile 27-year-old Gimenez.
That’s the biggest of the news from Tribe land today and below the jump, read about some of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues. The list includes Columbus 2B Cord Phelps, Akron OF/1B/DH Matt McBride and new Kinston catcher Chun Chen:
– Cord Phelps: I wrote about him earlier in the season when he starting off hot for the Aeros, and now he continues to dominate offensively for the Clippers. He earned the promotion on June 9th as the Indians moved up ’09 second-rounder Jason Kipnis to Double-A in response. In 22 games played up for the Clippers, the former Stanford Cardinal is now batting .350 with nine doubles and 14 runs scored. Entering the season, not much was written about Phelps despite the middle infield uncertainty at the major league level. Tony Lastoria at Indians Prospect Insider ranked him Cleveland’s 29th best prospect, but he will certainly climb after this season. He has a .315 batting average in 75 total games in 2010 and although he probably won’t join the Indians in September, he certainly should have the opportunity to compete for an MLB job during the off-season.
– Matt McBride: He was the focus of last week’s Aerodynamics and continues to swing a hot bat. He was honored last week as well as the Eastern League and Akron Aeros Player of the Week, finishing with six home runs and nine RBI in seven games played. The 25-year-old has amazingly reached base in all 38 road games on the season with 10 of his team-leading 11 home runs coming away from Canal Park. McBride also leads the team with his 84 hits, 19 doubles and 47 RBI, resembling the production of his incredible all-around offensive numbers during the 2009 season. He is similar defensively to Jordan Brown and could make the jump to Class AAA by the end of the year.
– Chun Chen: Finally, it is important to note the achievements of one of the most surprising players in the Indians system this season. Catcher Chun Chen will join Akron third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall as Cleveland’s two participants in tomorrow’s All-Star Futures Game and for very good reason. Chen is batting .311 with seven homers and 41 RBI between Class A Lake County and Kinston on the season, just earning the promotion to the Carolina League after the Midwest League All-Star Game a few weeks ago. Not much is known yet about his defensive skills, but he is certainly a prized hitting prospect at only 21 years old and could be the next big thing in the Indians minor league system.
(Photo above of Chris Gimenez via Tony Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider)