7/30/2014 7:35 P.M. ET
Tribe continues to be pleased with young arms
By Alec Shirkey / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- With Justin Masterson now a member of the Cardinals after Wednesday's trade, the Indians starting rotation has quickly become a whole lot younger.
Corey Kluber, 28, was already the leader of the group in terms of performance, but manager Terry Francona also noted that the stoic righty should begin to take on more of a leadership role in the second half. Kluber is complemented by Trevor Bauer (23), Danny Salazar (24) and Zach McAllister (26). Either Josh Tomlin or T.J. House could round things out as the No. 5 starter, or the Tribe could also continue to utilize a six-man rotation in order to maximize the roster.
In either case, the Indians have made it clear that while they are pleased with the early contributions from the likes of Bauer (4.25 ERA in 15 starts) and House (4.50 ERA in 10 appearances), the rotation as a whole could still stand to improve upon its collective 4.46 ERA, which ranks third worst in the American League entering Wednesday.
"We've been encouraged by some of the developmental progress and strides of some of the younger guys," general manager Chris Antonetti said, "but we obviously need them to continue to grow, continue to get better and perform more consistently in the second half."
Of all the aforementioned names, Salazar perhaps has the best chance of boosting Cleveland's overall pitching performance. Last season, the right-hander came up from Triple-A Columbus after the All-Star break to post a 3.12 ERA and record 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings across 10 starts.
The Indians are hoping he can help spark a similar second-half surge this year.
"Danny is a guy that's pretty much kept us in every game and is still learning," Tribe manager Terry Francona said. "We want to find out about some of these guys. Sometimes if you wait until September or Spring Training, you don't get the real answer. Having some guys in the fire isn't necessarily a bad thing. We did it last year."
Tribe adds Ramsey to talented outfield prospect pool
CLEVELAND -- Leading up to Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, manager Terry Francona emphasized the organization's desire to acquire young, controllable talent. The Tribe did just that on Wednesday when it picked up the outfield prospect James Ramsey from the Cardinals in exchange for right-hander Justin Masterson.
Ramsey, 24, enters the organization as its fifth-best prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. The former first-round pick hit .300/.389/.527 with 13 home runs in 67 games at Double-A this season and was the Cardinals' lone representative in the 2014 Futures Game.
"He's an athletic outfielder, a left-handed hitter that has played center field and can play the corners," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Has a good approach at the plate, has a little bit of power and is a guy that we think will contribute at the Major League level for us."
The Indians will assign Ramsey to Triple-A Columbus, where he will play center field as well as the corner outfielder positions. The Cleveland farm system, which already claims the likes of Clint Frazier, Tyler Naquin and 2014 first-round pick Bradley Zimmer, gains yet another talented, multi-tool prospect for its outfield.
"We've definitely improved our outfield depth over the course of the last 12-14 months," Antonetti said.
Quote to note
"I was on the bike and [pitching coach Mickey Callaway] came and got me. Then I went to the office and all the blinds were closed and I said, 'Uh oh. Either I'm going to get beat or I'm getting traded somewhere.'"
-- Masterson, on finding out he had been traded
• Assistant hitting coach Matt Quatraro is expected to continue serving as the team's first-base coach until Thursday. Sandy Alomar, who normally occupies the spot, has been away from the team since Tuesday because of personal reasons.
"Sandy should be back tomorrow, hopefully," Francona said. "His wife had hip surgery. He just needed to be with her to help her for a couple days. She's OK, but she needs some help and rather than change the whole staff around, I thought [Quatraro] would embrace it."
• An official scoring change has been made for the Tribe's tilt with the White Sox on July 13. In the second inning, Lonnie Chisenhall hit a grounder to second that was originally called an error on infielder Carlos Sanchez. That ruling has since been changed to an infield single, crediting Chisenhall with another hit this season.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.