The 2013 baseball season didn’t start as planned for Suffern grad Robbie Aviles, but he received a bit of good news on Tuesday. After being held back at the Cleveland Indians’ extended spring training while dealing with a slight groin issue, the right-hander has received his assignment for the year. Many expected Aviles to return to the Indians’ New York-Penn League affiliate (the Mahoning Valley Scrappers) — where he pitched last season — but he is currently flying to Lake County to join Cleveland’s full-season Low-A team, the Lake County Captains.
The 21-year-old worked mostly as a reliever last season (he only started five games, while appearing in 10 out of the bullpen), but told me that he had been working out as a starter this spring. The Indians have still not indicted which role he will be used in with Lake County.
Aviles has apparently been sharp in his last 12-15 innings in extended spring training, striking out six over three innings in his most recent appearance. As I wrote about in Sunday’s feature story, he was considered a potential first-round pick before injuring his elbow less than a week before the draft in 2010, which dropped him into the seventh round. He had Tommy John surgery, and is now beginning to work his way up in the Cleveland organization.