Indians optimistic that Gavin Floyd will return to majors in 2015
One of the more disappointing free agent signings for the Indians this year was veteran pitcher Gavin Floyd, who fractured his elbow in spring training, putting an end to his 2015 campaign before it even started.
But now the team is optimistic that Floyd will be able to pitch in the majors by season's end.
"I think that's a possibility," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti told reporters on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. "A number of things need to happen before that, but Gavin deserves a ton of credit for the way he's embraced the rehab process. He's committed to it fully every single day."
Floyd made his first minor-league rehab appearance of the season Wednesday for the Arizona League and showed promise. The right-hander hit 94 mph on the radar gun, recorded to punch-outs and came away from the outing feeling healthy, according to MLB.com:
"He should be thrilled that he was able to get out there and compete and was healthy," Antonetti said.
During the spring, the 32-year-old Floyd fractured the olecranon bone in his throwing elbow, sustaining the same injury he dealt with in 2014 with the Braves. That was a tough blow for Cleveland, which signed the starter to a one-year, $4 million contact over the offseason with the idea that he could log a lot of innings in the rotation. As a result, the Indians have had a revolving door at the back end of the starting staff.
"When we signed him," Antonetti said, "we were hopeful that he'd be able to provide some depth in the rotation and could come in and pitch innings for us and pitch effectively. Because of the injury, that didn't happen. One of the things we've struggled with for a decent amount of the year was getting some consistency out of the fifth-starter spot. Had Gavin been healthy, he could have fit in that role."
Floyd will continue his minor-league rehab program and will be evaluated by the Indians medical staff in the coming weeks to see if a return to the majors is in the cards for this season.