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Scott Moss Positions Himself For 2020 Rotation



In recent years the Indians have consistently and successfully transitioned at least one minor league pitching prospect to the big league rotation.

These pitchers have been more than just spot starters up for a cup of coffee. They have been contributing members to the rotation of a postseason contender.

In 2017 it was Mike Clevinger. In 2018 it was Shane Bieber. In 2019 it was Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale, and Adam Plutko.

Who could it be in 2020?

One name to keep in mind is 25-year-old lefthander Scott Moss, who was added to the Indians’ 40-man roster. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound southpaw was selected by the Reds in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Florida.

The Indians acquired Moss as part of a midseason three-team trade also involving the Reds and Padres. Cleveland also acquired outfielders Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig and sent Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati in the transaction.

For the season overall, Moss made 26 total starts at the Double-A and Triple-A level. He went 10-6,  2.96 and held opposing batters to a .211 average, while striking out 159 batters in 130.2 innings. His 15 percent swinging-strike rate ranked just outside the top 10 among qualified minor league starters.

"We were excited to acquire Scott, and he continued to impress as he transitioned to our organization,” vice president of player development James Harris said. "Physically he has a strong frame, and we feel there’s more strength and power to tap into.”

Moss’ best work last year came after the trade. In a combined six starts at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, he went 4-1 1.26 with 36 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.

"He’s improved his fastball velocity year over year, with increased swing and miss,” Harris said. "He throws a quality changeup and his slider shows some plus shapes that he can continue to refine.”

Moss could be an option for the Cleveland rotation should injuries and/or trades create an opening.

"He’s shown the ability to compete and perform at a high level across 400-plus minor league innings," Harris said. "So we’re excited to see how his continued development will transition to success on the mound."

SMOKE SIGNALS

— In addition to Moss, the Indians also added outfielder Daniel Johnson and righthander Triston McKenzie to their 40-man roster.

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