Bucs Promote Ten Players

Indianapolis position players Brian Bixler, Luis Cruz, Robinzon Diaz, Ronny Paulino and Steve Pearce as well as pitchers T.J. Beam, Craig Hansen, Ross Ohlendorf, Marino Salas and Romulo Sanchez have all been promoted to Pittsburgh.

Bixler, rated by Baseball America as the Pirates number eight prospect entering 2008, was named the Indians 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded a .978 fielding percentage with just eight errors in 360 total chances between second base and shortstop this season.

The 25-year-old was also involved in 43 of the team's 104 double plays even after spending over a month in Pittsburgh (April 6-May 27). He also finished the season ranked second on the team with a .280 batting average and 23 stolen bases.

Cruz, who was added to the Pirates 40-man roster after the club released pitcher Ty Taubenheim, was named the Indians August Player of the Month. After joining the club on July 29, Cruz turned in a .325 batting average with three home runs, 15 RBI and 19 runs over the team's final 32 games.

The 24-year-old also recorded 12 total multi-hit performances and batted .357 with 10 runs and nine RBI over his last 10 contests (Aug. 22-Sept. 1).

Diaz, who was acquired from the Toronto organization in the trade for INF Jose Bautista, batted .357 with three RBI in five games with the Indians.

Paulino, who was optioned to Indianapolis on June 7 after hitting .218 with two HR and 18 RBI in 35 contests for the Pirates, batted .306 with four HR and 18 RBI in 30 games with the Indians.

The 27-year-old, who spent June 19 through August 8 on the disabled list, also recorded an Indians 2008 single game best four runs and five hits on June 7 at Louisville.

Pearce, rated by Baseball America as the Pirates number three prospect entering 2008, was named the Indians 2008 Slugger of the Year. He recorded a .251 batting average, with 12 homers and 60 RBI in 103 games with the Tribe.

The 25-year-old finished the season ranked second on the team in home runs and RBI, while his 26 doubles were a team best even with two separate Major League call-ups to Pittsburgh.

Beam, who went 1-1 with a save and 4.01 ERA in 20 appearances with the Pirates from June 22 to Aug. 22, turned in a 2-1 record and 3.09 ERA in 30 Triple-A appearances this season.

The 27-year-old, who strung together seven consecutive scoreless outings with the Indians (12.1 IP) from May 2-23, entered the season with a 2-0 record and 8.50 ERA in 20 Major League appearances.

Hansen, who began the season with Boston where he went 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA in 32 relief appearances, was acquired by Pittsburgh as part of the deal that sent OF Jason Bay to the Red Sox on July 31.

The 24-year-old went 0-2 with a 8.10 ERA in nine appearances for the Pirates before being optioned to Indianapolis on August 29, where he posted a 4.50 ERA in two games with the Indians.

Ohlendorf was one of four Minor League prospects acquired by Pittsburgh from the New York Yankees organization in exchange for OF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte on July 26. He went 1-1 with a 6.53 ERA in 25 appearances for the Yankees from April 2 to June 27.

The 25-year-old led the Indians pitching staff over the season's final month, going 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 35 strikeouts in six starts. His four wins, 35 strikeouts, 40.2 innings and 1.11 WHIP paced all Tribe starters during the stretch.

Salas, who was recalled three separate times by Pittsburgh this season, posted a 1-0 record and 9.26 ERA (12 ER in 11.2 IP) in 10 Major League relief appearances with the Pirates from May 13-28, June 13-17 and July 17-21.

The 26-year-old was named Tribe's April Player of the Month after posting a 2-0 record and 0.51 ERA in 10 games and finished the season with a 4-4 record and 3.47 ERA in 40 total games.

Sanchez posted a 3.00 ERA with one save in two relief appearances for the Pirates from July 1-4 and turned in a 3.86 ERA in three games with the Pirates from Aug.5-Aug. 23.

The 24-year-old also registered a 5-1 record, 3.46 ERA and four saves in 33 Triple-A relief appearances with the Indians, and dominated opponents at home with a 1.69 ERA in 20 appearances at Victory Field.

RHP Ross Ohlendorf will be starting the game for Pittsburgh Wednesday night in Cincinnati.

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