On a day where the Indians looked to the future for their stadium, they also said goodbye to an extremely popular piece of their recent past.
The Tribe sent perpetually-struggling reliever Vinnie Pestano to the Angels for High-A/Single-A right-hander, Michael Clevinger. Pestano, of course, has not been anywhere close to what he was in 2011 and ’12, where it seemed like he’d be the set-up guy for years to come. That seemingly all changed for him while participating with Team USA during last year’s edition of the World Baseball Classic tournament. Since then, he labored in holding on to his spot on the Indians while spending most of his time as of late in Columbus.
Obviously, this one stings. Vinnie was arguably the most popular member of the team due to his social media presence, as well as his refreshing honesty to fall on the sword publicly to the fanbase when he would stink up the joint. In a climate where so many of the players view themselves as demigods, Pestano conducted himself as “one of us,” and we loved him for it.
But baseball is a cruel business, and if you aren’t helping, the organization will try to find someone who will. That person is apparently Clevinger.