CINCINNATI -- It was only one inning, but newly-acquired reliever Esmil Rogers made quite a first impression with the Indians.
Rogers -- acquired for cash in a trade with the Rockies on Tuesday -- worked a clean eighth inning during Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out two batters and showed impressive velocity with a fastball clocked as high as 97 mph.
"That's a live arm," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I've seen him in the past throw even harder than that before. The whole game knows he has a live arm. It's about him being consistent and taking advantage of opportunities and running away with it."
The Indians are hoping that a change of scenery will benefit the 26-year-old Rogers, who posted an 8.06 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 18 walks in 23 appearances for Colorado before being shipped off to Cleveland. For the time being, Rogers is filling a long-relief role out of the Tribe's bullpen, which currently has eight relievers.
In his Indians debut, Rogers needed just 11 pitches to breeze through Ryan Hanigan, Kristopher Negron and Chris Heisey. The righty hit 97 mph with his heater twice, and had five other fastballs clock in at 96 mph. Rogers also threw four sliders, which ranged between 83-85 mph.
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who was a teammate of Rogers' in Colorado before also being traded to the Tribe, believes the reliever can help Cleveland.
"He's very talented," Jimenez said. "He's a guy that out of the bullpen is going to be throwing 96 all the way to 99 consistently. He has a curve, slider, changeup. He has everything to be successful."
Rogers pitched again in Thursday's series finale, allowing an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two and allowing one hit.