There isn’t much fanfare given when a team ends a relationship with a minor league player generally, many not even getting a note on a transactions page. Despite this, these players have put in their time with the organization and deserve recognition as they exit the organization.

Update 7/21: Added to the DSL group were Alan Meza, Andy Rubio and Lahiorne Diaz who I missed in the original post.

AAA – Dalbert Siri

The biggest name of this group was 26 year old right handed reliever, Dalbert Siri. He signed with the Indians in 2014 out of Moca Dominican Republic and really came into the spotlight in 2017 and 2018 as the closer of the Lake County Captains, then the Lynchburg Hillcats. He struggled in the Arizona Fall League in 2018, but was solid again for Akron as part time closer in 2019. In 2020, he pitched in the Dominican Winter League momentarily with Escogido and again struggled. In 2021, he had some good numbers (23 strike outs and nine walks in 21.2 innings), but also some bad (7.03 ERA, 23 hits, 5 HBP) and given his age, his July 10th release made sense. He has since signed with the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association (Independent) and is off to a good start.

Rolette during 2018 Indians MiLB fielding practice. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

AA – Josh Rolette & Austen Wade

Josh Rolette was a catcher drafted in the 39th round of 2017 out of Kansas State. He had a decent rookie season, although it was a short one, then never really took off offensively after that point. He spent two seasons with Lake County prior to the lost 2020 season, then a promotion to Akron this year. As a 25 year old, his numbers were rather unimpressive and he was released on July 1st. He has since signed with the Kane County Cougars of the American Association where he is posting the best offensive numbers of his career.

Wade stands at the plate for the Clippers during a 2018 MiLB spring training game in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Center fielder Austen Wade was a fifth round pick in 2017 out of TCU and he rapidly moved up the system, reaching Lynchburg in his second season (2018). He stayed there for his third season (2019) before missing 2020. This year, he started in Lake County and had a really rough time offensively. Despite this, the Indians gave him a chance as a right fielder in Akron for a week before releasing him on July 15th. He is currently a minor league free agent.

Nelson waits on deck during a 2016 AZL Indians game at Goodyear Ballpark. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

A – Hosea Nelson

Despite being one of the lowest level players on this list, Nelson has been around nearly the longest. He originally signed as a ninth round pick in 2016 and debuted in Arizona where he stole an impressive 13 bases in 30 games (never caught). His steal numbers were never repeated, however, and his strike out numbers rose without an increase in offense. After two years in Mahoning Valley, he hit Lake County in 2019, then started 2021 in Lynchburg. His offensive performance there was the worst of his career and he was released on June 28th after 18 games.

Maestre moves to field a ball while playing short stop for the 2019 AZL Indians Blue in a play-off game against Padres 2 Peoria Sports Complex. – Joseph Coblitz IBI

ACL – Jesus Maestre

Jesus Maestre was with the Arizona League Indians in 2019 and was the most impressive player on the bottom part of this list that I saw in person. He was a solid defensive second baseman (he also played third, short and right) who was a great OBP player with good base running ability. His downfall was likely that he is already 21 and was yet to play above the Arizona Rookie level.

Paulino fields a ball at third base for the 2018 extended spring training Indians. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

DSL – Joseph Paulino, Adalberto Vargas, Andy Rubio, Lahiorne Diaz, Alan Meza Luis Ostos & Heylin Taveras

The biggest group of releases were players who were with the 2019 Dominican Summer League Indians or Indians/Brewers, but not with the 2021 DSL teams or the ACL Indians. Joseph Paulino (19 years old) played all four infield positions, but none well and didn’t hit for power or average over his two years in the DSL. His best ability was his moderate walk rate. Adalberto Vargas (19) played just one season (2019) for the DSL Indians and did nothing of note while primarily playing catcher. Andy Rubio (20) had two very poor seasons as a right handed reliever with the Indians/Brewers, largely due to a high walk and hit rate and poor strike out rate. Lahiorne Diaz (20) played 32 games at catcher, DH and 1B for the Indians/Brewers, but never hit consistently. He struck out 30 times compared to ten hits and six walks. Alan Meza (19) was also with the Indians/Brewers and was actually a decent hitter who played all three outfield positions and second base. Luis Ostos (19) played center and left for the 2019 DSL Indians and his best ability was also his walk rate. All six players were released on July 12th as part of the opening of the 2021 DSL Indians Red and Blue seasons.

Heylin Taveras was a bit of a different situation as he’s already 21 and is coming off two extremely rough seasons with the DSL squads as a right handed reliever (he also made one appearance in the AZL that didn’t go well). He was released back in May and has since signed with the White Sox and sent to Arizona. He is yet to make his 2021 debut.

Heylin Taveras pitches in his only appearance for the 2019 AZL Indians Red in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

In addition to the cuts, Henyer Gomez, Daniel Aguilar, Wuilfredo Antunez Alan Romero, Joab Gonzalez, Cesar Idrogo, Marlin Made, Michael Cooper, Victor Soteldo and Luis D. Garcia are all still with the franchise despite not being on any roster and are considered organizational players that could be activated at any time.

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