Indians release reliever Lewis

Indians release reliever Lewis

Indians release reliever Lewis
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Indians have parted ways with reliever Jensen Lewis, releasing the right-hander from the club's Triple-A Columbus affiliate Thursday night.

On Friday, Lewis took to his Twitter account to express his surprise.

"Completely shell-shocked," wrote Lewis, who tweets under the moniker of @JLEWFifty. "Never thought this would happen."

Lewis, 27, was a third-round pick by Cleveland during the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, and as a rookie in '07 he helped the Tribe reach the American League Championship Series. This season, however, the righty was not able to crack the Indians' Opening Day roster.

After a rough showing in Spring Training, Lewis cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Columbus to open the season. In 22 games for the Clippers, he went 3-2 with a 5.14 ERA, piling up 22 hits, 15 walks and 40 hits allowed in 28 innings. Lewis posted a 7.45 ERA in 15 games between May and June.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said that other relief options had passed Lewis on the organizational depth chart.

"As we looked at our near-term bullpen options," Antonetti wrote in an e-mail, "we felt there were a few other pitchers that would likely get a Major League opportunity with us ahead of Jensen.

"As a result, we decided to allow Jensen to find an opportunity with another team that may provide him a quicker path back to the Major League level. It also allows us to promote other pitchers within the system."

In parts of four seasons with the Indians, Lewis went 7-11 with a 3.68 ERA in 161 games. As a rookie in '07, the right-hander fashioned a 2.15 ERA over 26 games. Last year, Lewis had a 2.97 ERA in 37 games out of Cleveland's bullpen.

Lewis, who was born in Cincinnati, also used his Twitter feed to thank the Indians organization for the opportunity it gave him and to offer appreciation to the team's fan base.

"I want to thank all the Indians fans for their support over the years," Lewis wrote. "Grew up always wanting to play for the Tribe [and] I've lived a dream."