David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Cleveland has pushed the outfielder from the roster to make room for Nick Swisher.
The Indians today designated OF THOMAS NEAL to clear room for OF NICK SWISHER on the 40man roster.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 4, 2013
A late-round pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2005, Neal joined the Indians in July 2011 in a trade for shortstop Orlando Cabrera. After spending most of 2012 raking at Double-A, the 25-year-old broke into the bigs with the Tribe late last season, notching five hits across 24 plate appearances in nine games.
Neal will likely make his way back up to the big-league club if he continues to hit like he did last season -- .314/.400/.467 with 12 home runs in 117 Double-A games -- and he is not picked off waivers in the next week.
The Indians will need to move one more player off of their 40-man roster once their signing of right-hander Brett Myers becomes official later this week.