Indians Add Five To 40-Man Roster

Right-hander Josh Judy and four other minor-leaguers were added to the Cleveland Indians' 40-man roster on Friday. Infielder Jared Goedert, lefty Nick Hagadone and right-handers Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister also were added -- thereby protecting them all from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The Indians hope a number of others in the minor-league organization slip past that process.

"These are all players that we believe can at some point become good players in Cleveland," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "It was a tough decision-making process and there are others we would have liked to put on the roster, too."

Among those players are often-injured right-hander Adam Miller, who has not pitched in a competitive game since April 2008.

"We re-signed Adam to a minor-league deal last month, but he's eligible for Rule 5," Antonetti said. "Hopefully, he will be with us in spring training and healthy enough to participate."

Miller, a first-round pick in 2003, was one of the brightest stars in the system, with a fastball timed at 100 mph, good control, and a strong work ethic. He has had several surgeries on the middle finger of his right hand, though he made one brief appearance in the Arizona Instructional League this fall.

According to Antonetti, the right-hander threw both his fastball, timed at about 91 mph, and slider.

The plan is for Miller, once regarded as the heir apparent to CC Sabathia as the ace of Cleveland's rotation, to be tried as a one-inning relief pitcher -- to hold down the wear and tear on his hand.

While Miller is just hoping to resume his career, Judy will report to spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., with a chance to earn a spot in the Indians' bullpen. The 24-year-old has risen through the farm system since being a 34th round draft pick in 2007.

In 136 games, all but two of them in relief, the 6-4, 200-pounder has a 20-6 record, 18 saves and 2.74 ERA in the minors. This past season, he went a combined 3-0 with two saves and a 2.94 ERA at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. In 38 games for the International League champion Clippers, he went 3-0 with a 2.68 ERA and two saves.

McAllister, Hagadone and Kluber have outside shots at earning a rotation role in Cleveland in 2011, but likely will be sent to Columbus and Akron.

McAllister, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade for veteran outfielder Austin Kearns in mid-summer, pitched a fine game for Columbus in the playoffs. Before that, he had an ordinary year at Triple-A, going 9-12 with a 5.29 ERA, including 8-10, 5.09 for the Yankees' affiliate at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Kluber, obtained from San Diego in the three-team trade that sent veteran Jake Westbrook to St. Louis in July, had a 9-9 record and 3.49 ERA for three minor-league teams at age 24 in 2010.

Hagadone, a key piece in the July 2009 trade of all-star catcher Victor Martinez to Boston, had a disappointing 2010. The Indians attribute his 3-5 record and 3.57 record at two levels to the effects of missing part of 2008 and part of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery.

A first-round pick in 2007, he went 1-3 with a 2.30 ERA at Class A Kinston in 10 starts. Promoted to Akron, he became a spot starter and had trouble commanding his pitches in the strike zone. In 19 outings including seven starts, he went 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA and whopping 34 walks in only 48 innings.

Goedert had a very impressive season, but was conspicous by his absence when the Indians called up minor-leaguers in September.

He didn't get promoted despite batting .283 with 27 homers and 83 RBIs combined at Akron and Columbus. Part of the reason was his defense. In 93 games at third base, he made 22 errors. The Indians already had Jayson Nix and Andy Marte booting the ball at the position and wanted to give both the opportunity to play. Marte has been outrighted to the minors and Nix is trying to learn to play third in the Dominican Winter League. He has played second base most of his career.

Antonetti said adding a third baseman is among his top priorities this winter. It doesn't appear that the Indians are too willing to spend much for any free agents, however, so Goedert, younger Lonnie Chisenhall from Akron, and all the others may battle for the job in spring training anyway.

Mile High Huddle Top Stories