Indians announce 2018 RubberDucks roster

April 6, 2018 4:38 PM

(AKRON, OHIO) April 2, 2018 - Cleveland Indians Director of Player Development James Harris and RubberDucks manager Tony Mansolino have announced the Opening Day roster for the 2018 Akron RubberDucks.

The roster released today includes 25 players who have traveled from Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona, to Akron for the start of the season. Of the 25 individuals currently on the roster, 16 saw action with Akron last season. The group also includes one member of the Indians' 40-man roster, and six players who are ranked among the Indians top prospects by MLB.com.

The roster released today includes 25 players who have traveled from Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona, to Akron for the start of the season. Of the 25 individuals currently on the roster, 16 saw action with Akron last season. The group also includes one member of the Indians' 40-man roster, and six players who are ranked among the Indians top prospects by MLB.com.

The pitching staff includes starters Shane Bieber , Aaron Civale , Michael Peoples, Sean Brady , and Shao-Ching Chiang . Brady is the only left-hander among that group. Bieber topped the Tribe minor league system with 173.1 innings pitched last year and earned a career-high 10 wins. After starting the year at Class-A Lake County, Bieber (No. 8 MLB.com) finished with nine starts for the RubberDucks, going 2-1, with a 2.32 ERA. Civale (No. 10 MLB.com) will be making his Double-A debut after leading the Tribe system with 13 wins between Class-A Lake County and High-A Lynchburg. He was 11-2, with a 2.59 ERA, in 17 starts for the Carolina League champion Hillcats. Civale's slider is ranked as the organization's best by Baseball America. Peoples split last season between Akron and Columbus, making 16 combined starts, before running into shoulder trouble in mid-July. After being named the Tribe's minor league pitcher of the year in 2016, Peoples was 2-5, with a 5.58 ERA in nine starts for the RubberDucks last season. Brady, a 5th-round selection in 2013, missed the first four months of the last season due to a left shoulder strain. Once active, he made four starts apiece for Lake County and Lynchburg and then followed the regular season with a stint in the Arizona Fall League. Chiang opened eyes last season with a masterful, nine-inning no-hitter for the Lynchburg Hillcats on July 29th. He was promoted to Akron afterward and finished the season with six starts for the RubberDucks, going 1-2, with a 6.61 ERA.

The bullpen is comprised of right-handers Argenis Angulo , Mitch Brown , Dominic DeMasi , Luke Eubank , Leandro Linares , and Jordan Milbrath , along with left-handers David Speer and Matt Whitehouse . Whitehouse spent most of last season in the RubberDucks rotation, going 8-8, with a 4.47 ERA in 19 starts. Brown, a former 2nd-round selection in 2012, spent the entire campaign with the RubberDucks, appearing in 33 games and recording four saves. Linares was an effective late-inning reliever during two stints with the RubberDucks last season. He appeared in 23 games, recording three saves and fanning 37 batters in 33.1 innings. Milbrath is a flame-thrower whose sidearm fastball tops out at 99 miles-per-hour. He was 3-2, with a 3.90 ERA and two saves, in 15 games with the RubberDucks last year. He was taken by the Pirates in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December, but was returned to the Indians organization after struggling with the Bucs in spring training. Speer, a versatile lefty, made 38 appearances for the RubberDucks, going 2-3, with a 5.60 ERA. He also appeared in four games with Triple-A Columbus. Angulo, DeMasi and Eubank will all be seeing their first extended action at the Double-A level.

The position-player contingent is led by the 1-2 punch of first baseman Bobby Bradley and shortstop Willi Castro. Bradley (No. 3 MLB.com) returns to the RubberDucks for the second consecutive season after finishing second in the EL and in the Indians minor league system with 89 RBI in 2017. He hit .251 with 23 homers and 25 doubles in 131 games. Bradley was sensational defensively at first base, committing only eight errors in 1,099 total chances for a .993 fielding percentage. Castro (No. 5 MLB.com) was added to the Indians 40-man roster after a successful season with High-A Lynchburg in 2017. Castro registered a career-best .290 batting average with 11 homers and 58 RBI. The switch-hitter also added 19 steals while playing for Mansolino on the Carolina League co-champs. Castro, who will turn 21 on April 24th, will be one of the youngest players in the EL this season.

The other infielders include Tyler Krieger, Sam Haggerty, Mark Mathias and Joe Sever. Krieger (No. 25 MLB.com) was Akron's primary second baseman all of last season, hitting .225 in 119 games. The former 4th-round selection out of Clemson also chipped in a career-high 25 doubles and six homers. Sever hit a hefty .282 with seven homers and 54 RBI in 118 games for the RubberDucks last season, mostly at third base. This will be Sever's fourth season in Akron. Mathias was limited to 35 games with Akron last season after spending most of the season on the DL with a left shoulder injury. Haggerty will be making his debut at the Double-A level after spending all of last season with High-A Lynchburg, where he led the Carolina League and the Indians minor league system with 49 steals.

The outfielders are Andrew Calica , Taylor Murphy , Dorssys Paulino and Ka'ai Tom. Paulino was an everyday regular for the RubberDucks last season until being sidelined by a right wrist injury in August. He hit .257 with six homers and 37 RBI in 94 games. Murphy was limited to 25 games with the RubberDucks last season after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb in spring training. He didn't make his season debut until August 4th at Reading, but homered on his first swing of the season. Tom (No. 23 MLB.com) and Calica will each be making his Double-A debut.

The catchers are Daniel Salters and Sicnarf Loopstok . Salters has seen limited action with Akron the last two seasons. He spent most of last year with Lynchburg before finishing up with four games with the RubberDucks. Loopstok, a native and resident of Aruba, was a Carolina League All-Star at Lynchburg last season, hitting .249 with 17 homers and 65 RBI for the Hillcats.

Akron has made the EL playoffs 16 times, including 10 of the last 16 years. The team has captured five Eastern League titles, most recently in 2016.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2018 season, powered by FirstEnergy, will be its 22nd since moving to Canal Park and its 30th in Northeast Ohio. Last season, the team attracted 343,351 fans to Canal Park, an average of 5,202 per game. To purchase tickets and find more information about the team, visit www.akronrubberducks.com. On social media, find the RubberDucks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, witter: @AkronRubberDuck, and on Instagram: @akronrubberducks.  

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