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News and Notes: Indians release Escobar and finalize spring training schedule

After being designated for assignment last Thursday, the Cleveland Indians officially released Edwin Escobar on Tuesday afternoon to pursue a professional baseball opportunity in Japan. The IBI's John Alfes details the transaction and sheds light on the Tribe's 2017 Spring Training schedule...

Escobar Departs

Aside from Andrew Miller, the left-handed portion of the Cleveland Indians bullpen remains a mystery.

Arms like Kyle Crockett, Ryan Merritt, Edwin Escobar, Hoby Milner, Shawn Morimando and Tim Cooney all figured to be in the mix for a roster spot come springtime.

One of these aforementioned southpaws is officially out of the equation.

The Cleveland Indians released Escobar on Tuesday afternoon, approximately five days after designating him for assignment to open up a spot for Edwin Encarnacion. The Indians released him in order to allow the 24-year-old an opportunity to pursue a professional baseball career in Japan.

The Tribe claimed the former Arizona Diamondbacks hurler off waivers on November 18th in hopes that he could materialize into a legitimate bullpen option for manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway. Once Encarnacion was signed, Escobar appeared to be out of options.

Despite a respectable 4.17 ERA at the minor league level, Escobar's moderate success failed to translate to the MLB. In 25 appearances (2 starts) in 2016, Escobar had a 7.01 ERA with 12 walks and 33 hits allowed in just 23.2 major league innings.

The Venezualan native is the cousin of former big league veteran RHP Kelvim Escobar.

2017 Spring Training Dates

The Indians also announced their spring training slate beginning with pitchers and catchers reporting on Feb. 14th and all players reporting on Feb. 19th. 

The preseason campaign is scheduled to commence on Feb. 25th in a matinee affair with the Cincinnati Reds at 3:05 PM ET from Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, AZ. 

2017 Cleveland Indians Spring Training Schedule

All workout dates and times are subject to change.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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