The Indians can carry two lefthanded matchup relievers during the season’s final two months if they so choose now that they’ve acquired Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals. Heading to St. Louis in the trade is 20-year-old Dominican shortstop Juan Herrera, who plays in the short-season New York-Penn League.
The 27-year-old Rzepczynski has more than three years of major league service—he made 17 postseason appearances for the 2011 and ’12 Cardinals—but he had spent the bulk of this season on optional assignment at Triple-A Memphis. He has one more option remaining after this season.
Juan Herrera, ss
Age: 20 Bats: R
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Indians, Oct. 6, 2010
A versatile middle infielder who can handle the bat and work pitchers for walks, Herrera has spent three seasons in short-season ball and has a long way to go. He ranked third among Penn League shortstops with a .366 on-base percentage at the time of the trade, though he doesn’t exhibit raw power or speed at this stage of his development.
Marc Rzepczynski, lhp
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $1.1 million salary for 2013, then arbitration-eligible for first time this offseason.
Rzepczynski throws three quality pitches: a low-90s sinker, a plus changeup and a good slider. If they elect to do so, the Indians can pair Rzepczynski (against whom lefties have hit .224/.298/.310 in 365 plate appearances) with fellow lefty reliever Rich Hill (.196/.319/.309 in 117 PAs since 2012) to neutralize lefthanded batters at multiple junctures late in games.