MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians announced Monday they have purchased the contract of right-hander Jeremy Accardo from Triple-A Columbus and designated right-hander Dan Wheeler for assignment.
Accardo, 30, has spent the entire season with the Clippers and has posted an ERA of 2.76 in 13 relief appearances (16 1/3 innings) while holding International League hitters to a .207 batting average. He is 4-for-4 in save opportunities.
"He pitched the best out of all those guys in Spring Training. He barely missed making our club. And he was pitching the best out of the bullpen in Triple-A," said Indians manager Manny Acta, who also noted Accardo's Major-League experience as a factor in the decision to promote him.
Accardo had a 1.00 ERA through nine innings in eight Spring Training relief outings. Accardo split the 2011 campaign between the Orioles and Triple-A Norfolk, and this marks his eighth consecutive season appearing on a Major League roster.
"I knew that it was just a matter of time if I kept throwing the ball well. It's just kind of the mentality you have to have down there," Accardo said. "You've got to be positive, and you've got to be a good teammate and try to help the young guys. Then karma will go your way a little bit until you get an opportunity."
Lefties are batting .118 (2-for-17) against Accardo, while righties are batting .207 (12-for-58). He was a non-roster invitee to Major League camp this spring after signing a free-agent contract with the Indians on Jan. 19.
"They were really good with me saying that, if you can get a big league job [somewhere else], then we'll try to accommodate to you, but you still are part of this team and we plan on having you in the big leagues," Accardo said. "I went down there and did my work and was rewarded for it."
His rediscovered splitter has played a big part in Accardo's recent string of success, according to Acta.
"It was something I had gotten away from for quite awhile -- two or three years," Accardo said. "You know, you fall in love with a slider, and all of a sudden doing that slider motion, you kind of lose your split. In my meeting coming into spring is when I really solidified in my head to throw my splitter more and almost bang my slider entirely. That was [discussed] in my meeting with Manny [Acta]. ... Once you hear it from somebody, it clicks in your head."
Wheeler had an ERA of 8.76 through 12 1/3 innings of relief with the Indians this season after opening the year with the big league club.
"I think he can pitch effectively, he just didn't make good pitches," Acta said. "It just didn't happen for him, he had a pretty good experience last year with the Red Sox. ... We would love to have Dan come back and stick around if he [gets] through waivers."