Juan Diaz - USA TODAY Sports
The Indians are slowly but surely paring down their active roster.
Optioned SS Juan Diaz to Columbus (AAA)
Diaz was not going to make the club, but he did make a nice impression with both his glove and his bat. He'll be the starting shortstop in AAA, and if the Indians need a medium-term starter at short, they may choose to bring up Diaz rather than bump Aviles to starter and promote Cord Phelps from Columbus. Diaz is not considered much of a prospect by a lot of publications (for instance, he's not included in Baseball America's Top 30 Cleveland prospects), but I think he can contribute at the major-league level, and that counts for something.
None of these guys were in competition for major-league spots, but were in camp to play in the later innings after the regulars had been pulled from the game. Now that the starters are going 5 or 6 innings, the innings just aren't there to carry more than 13-15 pitchers in camp. And so Guimet, Martinez, and Langwell will spend the rest of the spring pitching in minor-league games in preparation for Columbus' season.
Hunter likewise wasn't getting playing time with the starting outfielders playing more and more during games. The Indians are still thin in their outfield depth, so Hunter should be getting regular playing time in Columbus, especially now that Ben Francisco is in New York.
Many of the easy decisions have been made already, and some of the harder ones: today the Indians told both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps, both XX(B) free agents, that they wouldn't be making the club. Matsuzaka has chosen to accept his assignment to the minors, while Capps is still pondering his future.
The three remaining "difficult" decisions are (1) whether to return Chris McGuiness or try to trade for him, (2) what to do with David Huff, and (3) what to do with Ezequiel Carrera. The former is a Rule 5 selection, with all the restrictions that come with that, and the latter two are out of options, which means they either make the club or have to be traded or send through waivers. Huff might make the roster as a longman if the Indians start the season with 13 pitchers, but I don't see how Carrera can make this club barring injury to one of the starters.
(Note: the Community Projections will continue tonight with Jason Kipnis)