Spokane starting pitcher Nick Green was shipped away to the New York Yankees in a package that sent back Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers in a four-player trade.
Dillon Tate, the Rangers 2015 No. 1 draft pick who made two starts for the Indians last season, and Erik Swanson, who was 1-2 with a 4.96 ERA in 2014 for the Indians, were also included in the deal.
Green was the team’s No. 3 starter that excelled at striking out batters. He was fourth in the Northwest League in punch outs with 44. He was 1-2 with a 4.98 earned-run average.
Green will report to New York’s short-season Single A affiliate, the Staten Island Yankees.
Tyler Phillips settling in
Phillips, the 30th-ranked prospect in the Rangers organization, according to MLB.com, showed why on Sunday.
The 18-year-old right-hander pitched seven innings, firing 70 pitches and giving up one run in Spokane 6-4 win over Everett.
“For him, that’s obviously the best outing of the year,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “It was an outstanding start for us. He breezed through seven innings, too. They scored one run in the second, but outside of that, you can’t throw any better.”
Phillips earned-run average crept up to 8.59 after his fourth start, but it’s dropped to 4.50 since. He has a 1.69 earned-run average in his last four starts.
Juan still “their guy”
Johan Juan gave up three runs in the ninth inning and was in danger of allowing more with the bases loaded and two outs. He forced a ground out, one shortstop Charles LeBlanc almost threw away while flipping the ball to second, to end the game.
It was a shaky outing for Juan, who entered Sunday’s game with a 0.47 earned-run average. Spokane isn’t giving up on the right-hander, whose signature pitch, his changeup, was rocked by the AquaSox in the ninth.
“We’ll take our chances with Juan everyday, he’s our guy,” Hulett said. “He can throw one inning, he can throw four innings. He can really get it done. If I had to guess, I’d say we scored a bunch of runs there, he might not have been real focused, thinking he was just going to throw strikes and get out of it.
“But again, he’s the guy we want out there in that situation.”
Juan primarily uses three pitches — fastball, changeup and slider — but according to Hulett, he didn’t throw his slider once on Sunday.
“He has days where he had a feel for it,” Hulett said of his slider. “Today must have been one of those days where he didn’t really have a feel.”
Even though he couldn’t find success with it against Everett, Hulett still raved about his changeup.
“I think he could tell hitters the changeup is coming and they would have a tough time hitting it,” Hulett said. “It’s that good … when the changeup is that good, you have to respect it and you can’t look (for his) fastball and even hit his changeup, so you pretty much have to guess what he’s throwing. That makes his 90-mph fastball look even harder.”