Rogers thriving out of Indians' bullpen

Rogers thriving out of Indians' bullpen

Rogers thriving out of Indians' bullpen
BALTIMORE -- Esmil Rogers was hoping for a fresh start when he landed in an Indians uniform earlier this month. Since Colorado cut ties with the hard-throwing reliever, the change of scenery has done him wonders.

"Everything is great right now," Rogers said on Friday at Camden Yards. "Everything is back. My confidence is back and everything is in the zone, so I can throw any pitch I want in any count. Just getting this opportunity, I've gained confidence, and I think that's the key right now."

Cleveland acquired the 26-year-old Rogers in exchange for $150,000 on June 12 and immediately placed the right-hander in its bullpen. Entering Friday, Rogers had posted a 1.93 ERA through seven appearances, piling up 13 strikeouts without any walks issued across 9 1/3 innings.

It is a limited line of statistics, but the promise is undeniable.

"It's a small sample. You have to wait," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He spent a few years over there and they gave him an opportunity. It's not the easiest place -- probably didn't work for him. Hopefully we got out of him what a lot of people were envisioning out of him."

Before joining the Indians, Rogers had an 8.06 ERA in 23 games for the Rockies this season. In 25 2/3 innings, he struck out 29, walked 18 and posted a 2.10 WHIP. Rogers had a 7.05 ERA in 83 innings for Colorado in the 2011 season.

With the Tribe, Rogers has turned in a 0.54 WHIP and has averaged 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings with just 4.8 hits surrendered per nine innings. Earlier this season with the Rockies, the right-hander had averaged 10.2 strikeouts, 6.3 walks and 12.6 hits allowed per nine innings.

"He's done a nice job. He's been impressive," Acta said. "The fact that he has been able to stay in the strike zone and not walk guys, that's something that, if he's capable of controlling it, he'll be OK. He's got a power arm."