BALTIMORE — The Indians are making an in-house move they hope will help their struggling offense, and it's a move many fans have been clamoring for since spring training.
The Tribe on Saturday recalled first baseman Bobby Bradley from Triple-A Columbus, and the 25-year-old will join the big league club immediately in Baltimore. To make room on the active roster, fellow first baseman Jake Bauers was designated for assignment.
A former third-round draft pick in 2014, Bradley has shown tremendous power with 156 career home runs in the minors, but has also struck out in more than 28% of his plate appearances. He enjoyed a brief stint in Cleveland in 2019, hitting just .178 with one homer and 20 strikeouts in 45 at-bats.
Bradley had an impressive spring and was a candidate to win the starting job at first base, but since Bauers didn't have any minor league options left, he was kept instead. In 26 games with the Clippers this season, Bradley is batting only .196 with 35 Ks, but does have nine home runs and tallied four hits during a doubleheader Friday in Indianapolis.
Bauers is hitting a paltry .190 with two homers in 2021 for the Indians, contributing to a first base unit that ranks at the bottom of MLB in terms of offensive production. The club now has a week to either trade him, release him, or put him on waivers; if no teams claims him, he himself can be sent to Columbus, should he choose to do so.
With Bauers now off the 40-man roster, the Tribe selected the contract of veteran reliever Blake Parker from Triple-A and called him up to the majors as well. The 35-year-old right-hander has 303 appearances and a 3.52 ERA across eight MLB seasons, including a 2.81 mark in 14 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Rookie Eli Morgan was sent down to make room, since Cleveland doesn't need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-June.
Bradley is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Orioles. With lefty John Means on the mound, Yu Chang will play first base.