With the trade for Aaron Cunningham, I mentioned earlier this evening that the Tribe would need to make a subsequent roster move in order to make room on the 40-man. Unfortunately, right-handed relief pitcher Josh Judy was designated for assignment in order to make room for him.
I absolutely hate this move, but I feel compelled to admit I have a certain degree of bias. I often attend the Wahoo Club’s player luncheons, and Josh Judy was a frequent guest. He seemed to be an extremely kind person, and he got along famously with all of the fans in attendance. I’ve watched him in the minors since he was with Class-A Lake County, and thought he pitched extremely well the past two spring trainings.
While Judy struggled some with the Major League club last season (0-0 with a 7.07 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 10 strikeouts in 14 innings), in 52 innings at Triple-A Columbus he was 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 60 strikeouts and 23 saves. With such a small sample at the Major League level, I really think he had the opportunity to turn things around and be a reliable arm out of the bullpen.
Because of his solid minor league numbers and ability to pitch in the late innings, I find it hard to believe that Judy clears waivers and stays with the Tribe. Someone, somewhere is bound to claim him.
I know that the Indians need offense, but they’ve now lost 2 promising late inning relievers for a potential Quad-A player. I’ve been wrong before, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again. I sincerely hope I’m wrong when I say that Cunningham won’t be much of an improvement over internal options, and not worth surrendering Judy and Cory Burns. If they were going to lose those guys, I wish it was for more of a “sure thing.”
I’ve been working on a post on “irrational love and hate” – players that you love or hate for no apparent reason (or that you love or hate completely independent of their statistics). I guess Josh Judy could technically fall into my irrational love category, hence my bias. Admitting that still doesn’t make tonight’s roster move less disappointing for me.