Image credit: Gionti Turner (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
There will be lots of 40-man roster machinations over the next 24 hours or so, as teams prepare for the deadline to protect prospects in advance of next month’s Rule 5 draft.
The domino effect started Monday, when the Rays, who have a full roster and a need to protect outfielder Jesus Sanchez and possibly lefthander Brock Burke and righthander Ian Gibaut, shipped righthander Chih-Wei Hu to Cleveland for a low-level minor leaguer.
Chih-Wei Hu, RHP
Hu, who was acquired from the Twins in exchange for Kevin Jepsen in 2015, spent most of 2018 bouncing back and forth between Triple-A Durham and the major leagues. He got more exposure at the beginning of games in the minors this year than in 2017, and he also pitched 13 innings with Tampa Bay. He works primarily with a low-90s fastball, slider and changeup, though he throws the occasional curveball as well. He fits a middle-relief role.
Gionti Turner, 2B/SS
Turner, the Indians’ 27th-round pick in June, stands out for his plus speed and athleticism. He’s still raw on the diamond, but his athleticism plays well up the middle and he saw time at second base, shortstop and center field in the Rookie-level Arizona League after signing. He produces good bat speed but is still working to refine his approach and pitch recognition.