TORONTO -- Perhaps all right-hander Esmil Rogers needed was a change of scenery. That's how Indians manager Manny Acta sees it.
Rogers has been a different pitcher since the Indians acquired him from the Rockies in June, and the flamethrower has caught the eye of his skipper as a result.
Since the June 13 deal that saw Rogers come over to the American League, the 26-year-old has thrown 13 1/3 innings over 11 appearances and sports a 2.03 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, and has fanned 18 batters while walking just one.
It is a stark contrast to the numbers Rogers put up with the Rockies, where he posted an 8.06 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, and had 29 strikeouts against 18 walks over 25 2/3 innings.
"He hasn't been walking guys, has been attacking the strike zone, and has pitched well for us," Acta said. "Our confidence in him is growing. When you have that type of arm and you pitch ahead, it's a matter of time before the numbers go in your favor."
According to Fangraphs.com, Rogers' average fastball has been 96.1 mph this season, which is good enough to place him in the top 15 among all relievers.
His 10.85 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest mark of his career, and that ability to generate strikeouts has helped him hold batters to a .149 average since joining the Tribe.
Acta said no mechanical changes have led to Rogers' success with Cleveland, and had no answers as to why Rogers has blossomed since the trade. Maybe Rogers just needed to get out of Coors Field in Colorado, where he has an 8.15 lifetime ERA.
"Whatever the reason has been, weight off his shoulder, I don't know," Acta said. "This guy has a big arm."