CLEVELAND --- The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has purchased the contract of INF LOU MERLONI from the AAA Buffalo Bisons. To allow room on the 25-man roster the Indians optioned INF RAMON VAZQUEZ to AAA Buffalo following last night's game.
Merloni has spent the entire season at AAA Buffalo after attending Major League camp with Cleveland as a non-roster invitee. With the Bisons he has hit .316 (37-117) with 12 2B, 3HR & 12 RBI in 32 games. He is currently tied for 4th in the International League in doubles and 9th in batting average. He has appeared in 9 games at second base, 11 games at first base, 4 games at SS and 5 games at third base for Torey Lovullo's club. He hit .355 (22-62) in April and has hit .413 (19-46) with runners on base. Merloni, who will wear #12, hit .289 (55-190) in 71 games for the Indians in 2004.
Vazquez has hit .179 (5-28) with 4RBI and 3 runs scored in 16 games for the Indians thus far in 2006. The Indians 40-man roster is again at 40.