Indians reinstate Delino DeShields, DFA Christian Arroyo, option Greg Allen, Daniel Johnson
The Indians made a series of roster move ahead of Thursday's deadline to cut the active roster to 28 players.
Teams started the season with a 30-man roster and will not be able to keep it at 28 for the duration of the season. Taxi squads were also expanded from three to five players.
DeShields, acquired in the Corey Kluber trade with the Rangers, was delayed a few weeks after a positive COVID-19 test prior to summer camp and needed time to ramp up his volume. To date, he has been the only positive case with the Indians.
Arroyo was one of three utility infielders on the bench, along with Mike Freeman and Yu Chang. The Indians were able to carry plenty of depth, but also ran into an issue with not being able to get hitters any at-bats. That was also an issue in the outfield with Allen and Johnson, who have played behind Oscar Mercado, Franmil Reyes, Domingo Santana, Bradley Zimmer and Jordan Luplow.
"That's one of the challenges," said Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti on a Zoom call. "Definitely a challenge with a 30-man roster, even some of the guys that we have sent to the alternate site or in Christian's case, designate, we just weren't able to get them many opportunities up here. That will continue to be a bit of a challenge with a 28-man roster, and that's something that we'll have to take day to day and try to navigate."
With these moves, the Indians can still carry a nine-man bullpen that includes Adam Plutko, two utility infielders on the bench and six outfielders.
Antontti added that manager Terry Francona, who has been dealing with a gastrointestinal condition, will not travel with the team for its road series in Chicago. An update on his status could come Monday.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read more about the Indians at www.beaconjournal.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.