Indians acquire reliever Rzepczynski from Cards

CLEVELAND — The Indians believe they’ve found the right reliever to fix their issue against left-handed hitters.

Cleveland acquired lefty Marc Rzepczynski from St. Louis on Tuesday, adding an experienced veteran to a bullpen that has struggled all season to retire lefties. The Indians’ left-handers have a 6.47 ERA.

To get Rzepczynski (Zep-chin-skee), the Indians, who began the night trailing first-place Detroit by 2½ games in the AL Central, sent minor league infielder Juan Herrera to the Cardinals.

“He’s been very effective at getting left-handed hitters out at the major league level,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said of Rzepczynski, who has been nicknamed “Scrabble” by previous teammates who struggle to pronounce or spell his name. “In addition to that, he has postseason experience and has pitched in some very pressurized games and games we aspire to play in.

“We think he addresses a need both in the short and long-term for the organization and he’ll fit in very well.”

The 27-year-old is 9-17 with a 4.20 ERA in 177 career games for Toronto and St. Louis. Left-handed hitters have batted .224 against Rzepczynski, who pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the champion Cardinals in the 2011 World Series.

Rzepczynski has split this season between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis, posting a 7.84 ERA in 11 games at the major league level. But in the minors, he’s got a 3.07 ERA in 32 games and held lefties to a .185 average.

“He’s only given up two extra-base hits on the year to left-handed hitters and only eight combined in two years,” Antonetti said. “He hasn’t been quite as successful at the major league level this year, but it’s a very small sample. He has a good fastball, he gets ground balls. He’s been a guy we’ve had interest in for quite a while. We liked him when he was with Toronto.”

The Indians’ only other current left-handed reliever is Rich Hill. However, this season they’ve had lefties Scott Barnes, Nick Hagadone and David Huff pitch in relief but they were all sent back to the minors because of ineffectiveness.

Antonetti said it’s possible the Indians could make another move before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

“We’re still working to try and improve the team, and if we think there are guys out there who will improve upon the options we have we’ll explore it,” Antonetti said. “But we do feel confident that Marc can help our team and he’ll be part of hopefully a push to the playoffs. There’s a lot that can happen in 24 hours.”

Antonetti does not yet know when Rzepczynski will join the Indians.

Herrera batted .275 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 39 games for Class A Mahoning Valley. He will be assigned to State College (Pa.) of the Class-A New York-Penn League.

More in Sports

Culture change leads Everett football to winning ways

The coach’s challenge and the players’ response has the Seagulls on the verge of the playoffs.

Seahawks’ Clark reflects on teammate Avril’s injury

The young defensive end and protege of the veteran sees how suddenly careers can change.

Stanwood wrestler Phillips commits to North Carolina

The senior verbally commits to join the Tar Heels after receiving interest from other major programs.

Silvertips struggling to turn shots into goals

Everett is creating more scoring chances than its opponents but needs to convert chances into goals.

Thursday’s prep stars of the night

Elizabeth Perenchio, Edmonds-Woodway volleyball Perenchio, a junior setter, dished out 44 assists… Continue reading

BLOG: Some WHL tidbits from a day between games

The Everett Silvertips skated Thursday following a Wednesday loss and in anticipation… Continue reading

Thursday’s prep sports results, recaps and links

Here are Thursday’s prep sports results, links and recaps: CROSS COUNTRY Cascade… Continue reading

Cougars to face top Pac-12 rushers in 3-week span

Washington State will have their hands full as they prepare for the conferences top rushing threats.

Huskies coach Petersen applauds work ethic of walk-on

John Gardner, a walk-on, is catching the eye of the Huskies head coach.

Most Read