ISR Indians Beat Writer
INDIANAPOLIS – It’s no April Fool’s joke – the Indianapolis Indians‘ season is just two days away.
With that comes the official announcement of the Indians 2014 Opening Day roster.
On April 3, the Indians start the season on the road against the Columbus Clippers before returning to Indy to face off against the Toledo Mud Hens on April 10.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the players that will be suiting up for the Indians:
Andy Oliver, starting pitcher: Last season, this southpaw tied the record for most strikeouts in a single-season with 138, since the Indians began playing at Victory Field. Oliver also set the single-season walks record with 112. He earned a 3.86 ERA (three hits in 4.2 innings pitched) in six appearances (1-2) during Spring Training.
He began his in the Detroit Tigers organization – making his Major League debut, when he was just 22-years-old, in 2010. The 2013 season was Oliver’s first season in the Pirates’ organization, one in which he established himself as a starter with a 5-4 record (24 games started) and slightly elevated, but still solid 4.05 ERA (99 hits in 124.1 innings pitched).
Matt Hague, infielder: Hague is a two-time Tribe Most Valuable Player, earning the award in 2013 and 2011. His award winning 2013 season included leading the International League (IL) in hits with 153 and tying for first in doubles (37) among IL players.
He started in every regular season game for the Indians, except for three, batting a solid .285 (153-for-536) while leading the team in RBI (69), hits (153), doubles (37) and runs scored (67). Over the course of Spring Training, Hague appeared in seven games hitting .250 (3-for-12) with 3 RBIs.
Andrew Lambo, infielder: Lambo was selected as Pittsburgh’s Minor League Baseball Player of the Year and the Tribe’s Offensive Player of the year award following an impressive 2013 campaign – including 32 home runs and 99 RBIs, the most of all Pirates’ farmhands.
He’s only gotten a taste of what playing at the Major League level is like, making his debut with the Pirates during his 2013 season. Lambo appeared in 17 games during Spring Training playing mostly first base with a couple appearances as the designated hitter.
Gregory Polanco, outfielder: Polanco is listed by “Baseball America” as the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates’ organization for the upcoming season. He ended 2013 with the Indians, but spent most of his 2013 campaign between the Bradenton Marauders and Double-A Altoona Curve.
During the offseason, he played for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League where he earned both the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards. Polanco batted .331 (55-for-166) with a team-high 28 RBIs and five home runs. He carried this momentum into Spring Training, where he average .273 (6-for-22) in 10 appearances.
Below is the rest of the Indians roster, which includes up-and-comers in the Pirates’ organization and IL veterans:
Jake Brigham, pitcher
Brandon Cumpton, pitcher
Jared Hughes, pitcher
Phil Irwin, pitcher
Jay Jackson, pitcher
Josh Kinney, pitcher
Casey Sadler, pitcher
Daniel Schlereth, pitcher
Zack Thornton, pitcher
Duke Welker, pitcher
Adam Wilk, pitcher
Nevin Ashley, catcher
Carlos Paulino, catcher
Robert Andino, infielder
Chase d’Arnaud, infielder
Michael Martinez, infielder
Chris McGuiness, infielder
Brent Morel, infielder
Jaff Decker, outfielder
Chris Dickerson, outfielder
Adalberto Santos, outfielder
Megan Filipowski is the Indianapolis Indians Beat Writer for the Indy Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Indianapolis Indians with full media access. Follow Megan and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.