Indians designate Duncan for assignment

Indians designate Duncan for assignment

Indians designate Duncan for assignment
CLEVELAND -- Shelley Duncan's playing time with the Indians gradually decreased throughout this season to the point where his time on the field was expected to be scarce once the calendar flipped to September.

With an eye on its future, Cleveland felt it was best to part ways with Duncan on Wednesday. The Indians designated the utility man for assignment and promoted right-hander Jeanmar Gomez from Triple-A Columbus.

There will be more players coming as part of September callups soon.

"He wanted to play," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Unfortunately, going forward, the at-bats weren't going to be there and we probably don't feel he's going to be in the plans for next year. So, we might as well see some other guys."

Duncan, who has spent parts of the past three years with the Tribe, hit .203 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles and 31 RBIs in 81 games this season. He hit .333 over his first nine games of the season as Cleveland's regular left fielder, but experienced a statistical decline after being asked to split duties in left with veteran Johnny Damon.

Over his past 72 games, dating back to mid-April, Duncan hit .185 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs for the Indians. More recently, Duncan hit .138 (9-for-65) with two homers and seven RBIs in his last 21 games, dating back to July 19.

Damon was released earlier this month, but Ezequiel Carerra has garnered the bulk of the time in left field of late. As a result, Duncan was reduced to a part-time outfield and designated hitter role for the Tribe.

"Everybody wants to play every day," Acta said. "He wanted to play every day. Some of you guys campaigned for that, too, in Spring Training, remember? We never went into it. We just used him the way we felt was proper for our team. He's had some chances out there. He contributed at times."

Cleveland now has 10 days to either trade, release or, if Duncan clears waivers, reassign him to a Minor League affiliate.

"It's tough to let go a guy like him," Acta said. "He's such a good teammate and a guy who works so hard and gives you everything he's got."