Jamey Wright makes Indians roster

MLB: Astros v Rangers June 23, 2007When I first read that Jamey Wright had made the Cleveland Indians roster I shouted out with glee. Ok… maybe not exactly but it did bring a smile to my face and a yell across the room to my wife.

But upon further investigation I’m starting to wonder how so many non roster invitees made the Indians. In addition to Wright infielder Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Austin Kearns also made the club.

Hmm. While the Indians don’t approach the number of non roster invitees to make the opening day roster that the Texas Rangers did last season (6 ) it’s always odd to find multiple of such players making a club.

It’s not to say that these players are lesser or undeserving it’s just teams are often crammed enough on the 40-man roster to find more then a spot or two it often hard to do.

Wright, by making the team, will earn $900,000 plus incentives. He was 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in nine exhibition games this spring. He allowed two earned runs on five hits in 11 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked five.

He’s actually becoming a legend at the whole non roster invitee thing. Wright has successfully made the opening day rosters of the Giants (2006), Rangers (2007, 2008), Royals (2009) and now Indians in consecutive seasons. In addition he also worked his way up to the majors with Kansas City (2003) and Colorado. (2004). In 2005 he was actually signed by Colorado with a guaranteed roster spot.

Wright, 35, factors in as a durable arm that can provide length, if needed. He made 75 appearances and worked 84 1/3 innings for the Rangers in 2008 and appeared in 65 games and pitched 79 innings for the Royals last year. He finished 2009 with a 4.33 ERA.

“I’ve got a rubber arm,” Wright said in a  report on Indians.com “But I can’t beg a team to give me a guaranteed contract.”

The roster spot for Wright came at the expense of Jeremy Sowers who was ineffective this spring much in the same way he had struggled in parts of the last four seasons. Sowers was 18-30 with a 5.18 ERA in 72 games (71 starts) for the Indians. The 26 year old lefty was placed on waivers and then out-righted to Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.

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