Indians pick up pitcher in Rule 5 Draft

BY foxsports • December 11, 2014

The Rule 5 Draft went about like the Indians expected it.

During the major-league portion they didn't lose nor select anyone. With the 40-man roster full, general manager Chris Antonetti said on Wednesday that they weren't going to make any moves to free up a spot.

The Tribe did make one selection during Triple-A phase, taking right-hander Delvi Francisco from the Phillies organization.

A converted outfielder, Francisco is 7-8 with 16 saves, a 4.64 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 88 career relief appearances across parts of three minor-league seasons since becoming a pitcher. Francisco, 22, was on the roster for Double-A Reading but spent last season in Single-A, first with Williamsport and then with Lakewood. His combined record in 30 appearances was 3-3 with two saves and a 7.44 ERA.

Carter Hawkins, the Indians Vice President of Player Development, said that Ramon Pena, who is the team's Director of Latin America Operations, has seen plenty of Francisco in winter ball.

"We felt like he was a guy who might be able to impact us at some point down the line and who our coaches can work with," Hawkins said. "He is a hard thrower (velocity in mid-90s) and needs to refine some of his stuff."

Francisco is likely to begin the year in High-A with Lake County or Lynchburg or at Double-A Akron.

In other farm system matters for the Tribe, Hawkins said that work continues on filling the two hitting coordinator openings after Alan Zinter went to Texas and Luis Ortiz to San Diego. Travis Hafner has been rumored as a candidate. They are also close to naming a manager for Mahoning Valley after not retaining Ted Kubiak. There could be some more upheaval if Columbus manager Chris Tremie or Akron manager Dave Wallace becomes bullpen coach on Terry Francona's staff.

There were also meetings with Lynchburg, which is the team's new Carolina League affiliate.

"It has been an exciting and productive meetings," Hawkins trade. "We had the trade on Monday, which was exciting but it was very tough to lose a guy the quality of Joey Wendle. We hated to see him go but excited to add to the major-league roster."

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