INDIANAPOLIS – With the Major League Baseball postseason set to begin with tonight’s American League Wild Card game between New York and Boston, we looked at the number of former Indianapolis Indians across the league that could make an impact on their respective teams in October.
*AMERICAN LEAGUE *
Tampa Bay Rays (AL East Champions)
Player(s): OF Austin Meadows (2016-18), OF Jordan Luplow (2017-18)
Meadows, 26, is in his fourth season in the Rays organization since being traded with RHP Shane Baz and RHP Tyler Glasnow from Pittsburgh in the deal that sent RHP Chris Archer to the Pirates. Following a decline in his numbers from an AL All-Star campaign in 2019 to 2020, Meadows was a weapon at the plate for the Rays this season. He drove in a career-high 106 runs in a career-high 142 games played with 27 home runs. In two postseasons with the Rays from 2019-20, he has a .135 batting average (10-for-74) in 22 games. Meadows appeared with the Indians from 2016-18, earning a Futures Game Selection in his first year with the club. In 42 games in 2018, he hit .279 (79-for-261) before being traded.
Luplow, 28, bounced from Cleveland to Tampa Bay after spending the first two years of his big-league career with Pittsburgh. He was traded to the Rays at the 2021 trade deadline and quickly improved his production at the plate from a sub-.200 mark with Cleveland to hitting .246 (16-for-65) in 25 games with Tampa Bay. The outfielder was a standout for Indianapolis in his two years with the club, hitting .300 (142-for-474) with an .857 slugging percentage in 132 games.
Coach(es): Chad Mottola (Hitting Coach, 1995-98), Ozzie Timmons (First Base Coach, 1997-98)
Boston Red Sox (AL Wild Card Winner)
Player(s): LHP Austin Davis (2021)
Davis, 28, first appeared with the Indians on a rehab assignment on May 19, 2021 prior to being traded to Boston in exchange for INF Michael Chavis. In three different stints in Indianapolis, he went 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA (4er/14.0ip), a 0.79 WHIP and 18 strikeouts. In 19 games with Boston following the trade deadline, he is 1-1 with a 4.86 ERA (9er/16.2ip).
New York Yankees (Second AL Wild Card)
Player(s): RHP Gerrit Cole (2012-14, 2016), RHP Jameson Taillon (2013, 2016-17), RHP Clay Holmes (2017-19)
Cole, 31, owns a lifetime record of 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA (25er/84.0ip), 0.88 WHIP and 108 strikeouts in 13 postseason starts. After spending the first five years of his major league career with the Pirates, he was traded to Houston following the 2017 season and then signed with the Yankees as a free agent on Dec. 18, 2019. This year, Cole has gone 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA (65er/181.1ip) and 243 strikeouts, the most in MLB. As the first overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Cole quickly made his way to Indianapolis where he compiled a 9-4 record and 2.59 ERA (30er/104.1ip) in 19 starts over four years.
Taillon, 29, is in his first year with the Yankees after being traded from Pittsburgh in exchange for RHP Roansy Contreras, RHP Miguel Yajure, OF Canaan Smith-Njigba and INF Maikol Escotto on Jan. 24. Coming off two Tommy John surgeries, he is 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA (69er/144.1ip) and 140 strikeouts in 29 starts this season. His best season with the Pirates came in 2018, when he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA (68er/191.0ip) in 32 starts. With the Indians, Taillon made 18 starts over three seasons and went 5-6 with a 2.87 ERA (35er/109.2ip), 1.01 WHIP and 113 strikeouts.
Holmes, 28, was traded from Pittsburgh to New York (AL) on July 26 in exchange for INF Hoy Park and INF Diego Castillo. After beginning the season on a minor league contract with Pittsburgh, Holmes has been stellar for the Yankees with a 5-2 record, 1.61 ERA (5er/28.0ip), 0.79 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 25 appearances. He made 57 appearances (40 starts) with Indianapolis over the course of three seasons and went a combined 20-9 with a 3.58 ERA (89er/223.2ip) and 212 strikeouts.
Coach(es): Aaron Boone (Manager, 1997-99)
*NATIONAL LEAGUE *
Atlanta Braves (NL East Champions)
Player(s): RHP Jesse Chavez (2006-08), RHP Charlie Morton (2009-10, 2012-13, 2015), RHP Richard Rodriguez (2018-19)
Chavez, 38, had his contract selected by Atlanta on June 24 and has gone 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA (8er/33.2ip) and 36 strikeouts in 30 appearances (four starts). His 14-year major league career began in 2008 with the Pirates, and since he has appeared with Kansas City, Oakland, Toronto, Los Angeles (NL), Los Angeles (AL), Texas, Chicago (NL) and Atlanta. He made one postseason appearance with the Cubs in 2018 and tossed a scoreless inning. Chavez made 109 appearances (one start) with Indianapolis over three seasons and went 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA (72er/166.0ip) and 150 strikeouts.
Morton, 37, has an abundance of postseason experience from his time with Pittsburgh, Houston and Tampa Bay. In 2020, he went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA (6er/20.0ip) in four postseason starts for the Rays, including 10.2 scoreless innings in two ALCS starts vs. Houston. Morton signed with Atlanta as a free agent prior to the 2021 season and has gone 14-6 with a 3.34 ERA (69er/185.2ip) and 216 strikeouts in 33 starts. Over five years in Indianapolis, he went 5-6 with a 3.26 ERA (46er/127.0ip) in 22 starts.
Rodriguez, 31, was traded to Atlanta from Pittsburgh at the 2021 trade deadline. He went 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA (12er/38.1ip) and 14 saves in 37 appearances with the Pirates and has gone 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA (9er/26.0ip) and no saves with Atlanta. Rodriguez pitched in four games with the Indians in two years and allowed one earned run in 8.0 innings.
Coach(es): Sal Fasano (Catching Coach, 2002), Jose Castro (Assistant Hitting Coach, 1990)
Milwaukee Brewers (NL Central Champions)
Player(s): INF Pablo Reyes (2018-19)
Reyes, 28, has appeared with Milwaukee in six stints over the course of the 2021 season after signing as a minor league free agent and has hit .256 (20-for-78) over 53 games. He appeared with Indianapolis from 2018-19 and hit .288 (153-for-531) with an .812 OPS in 161 games.
San Francisco Giants (NL West Champions)
Player(s): RHP Jay Jackson (2014)
Jackson, 33, is in his third major league season after he followed his 2015 rookie season with three years in the Japan Central League. He was signed as a minor league free agent with an invite to spring training and had his contract selected on July 16 by San Francisco. In 23 appearances (one start), he is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA (9er/21.2ip) and 28 strikeouts. He made 25 appearances (12 starts) with Indianapolis in 2014 and went 5-4 with a 4.89 ERA (46er/84.2ip) and 87 strikeouts.
Coach(es): Antoan Richardson (First Base Coach, 2016)
Los Angeles Dodgers (NL Wild Card Winner)
Coach(es): Brant Brown (Hitting Coach, 2001)
The Chicago White Sox (AL Central Champions), Houston Astros (AL West Champions) and St. Louis Cardinals (Second NL Wild Card) do not feature any former Indianapolis Indians.