Rogers added to 'pen, LaPorta sent to Triple-A

Rogers added to 'pen, LaPorta sent to Triple-A

Rogers added to 'pen, LaPorta sent to Triple-A
CINCINNATI -- The Indians are betting on the idea that a change of scenery will do wonders for reliever Esmil Rogers. That, along with Rogers' powerful fastball, convinced Cleveland to acquire the right-hander from the Rockies.

On Wednesday, a day after being shipped to the Indians in exchange for cash considerations, Rogers was officially added to Cleveland's active roster. To clear a spot on the team for the reliever, the Tribe optioned first baseman Matt LaPorta to Triple-A Columbus.

Rogers made his Indians debut in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Reds -- tossing one hitless eighth inning with two strikeouts in relief of Nick Hagadone.

"He's got a great arm," Indians manager Manny Acta said of Rogers. "That's why we're taking a flier on him. It's about command. He's just got to cut down his walks and be able to repeat his delivery and get back to it.

"We're hoping that getting him out of the Colorado ballpark and new surroundings, maybe we can cash in on a very good arm."

Rogers is hoping for the same.

"I'm excited," he said. "I'm excited to be here with the team. It's a really good team. There's a lot of talent here, so I think it's a great opportunity for me to show my ability."

Rogers, 26, posted an 8.06 ERA with a 2.10 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) across 23 appearances for the Rockies this season. In 25 2/3 innings, the righty struck out 29 and walked 18. Over the past three seasons with Colorado, Rogers fashioned a 6.82 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP.

This season, though, Rogers has averaged a touch over 96 mph on his fastball. The pitcher knows that he needs to improve his control of that high-speed heater down in the strike zone in order to be more effective.

"It's about high pitches," Rogers said. "If my fastball is high, anybody can hit it. It doesn't matter if you throw hard, if you pitch high, everybody can hit it everywhere. I think my mechanics are good. I just need to work on finishing my pitches."

Acta noted that Rogers would serve as a long reliever for the time being for the Tribe, which currently has eight relievers in the bullpen. The manager indicated that the ballclub would likely go with the additional arm at least through the next homestand, which features Interleague meetings against the Pirates and Reds.

Acta added that demoting LaPorta, who hit .182 (2-for-11) in three games since being called up from Triple-A, was not a sign that the organization has soured on the first baseman.

"No, not at all," Acta said. "It's just kind of an odd time. He joined us [on June 3] right at a time when we were going to come over here for Interleague games. It's just the move that made the most sense for us right now. Matt didn't get enough at-bats this time around up here for us to make decisions based on that."