CLEVELAND -- A day after Danny Salazar dazzled in his Major League debut, the Indians optioned him to Triple-A Columbus and recalled reliever C.C. Lee from the Clippers.
Lee, Cleveland's No. 20 prospect according to MLB.com, has made 16 appearances throughout the organization's farm system this season. Across 16 1/3 innings, the 26-year-old has assembled a 2.76 ERA while notching 25 strikeouts and eight walks. Opposing batters have hit .127 against Lee.
"With the All-Star break coming up, we can use him when we want and give him a chance to hopefully get his feet wet," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It's a chance to see where this can go. We'll see how he pitches. He's been throwing the ball really well."
In six outings for Columbus, Lee compiled a 2.84 ERA. He missed most of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The Taiwanese right-hander is one of two Tribe prospects who were chosen to participate in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in New York. Lee's promotion on Friday forced a change of plans for the World Team, which also carries Francisco Lindor, a shortstop at Class A Carolina.
"We have the luxury of carrying an extra reliever because the All-Star break is coming in three days," Francona said. "We don't need a starter until the fifth day out. It gives us a free eight days of an extra reliever."
On Thursday, Salazar struck out seven hitters and beat Toronto in his first big league game. The righty began the afternoon with five no-hit innings against the Blue Jays, who managed just one run and two hits against Salazar in six frames.
"It gives us a chance to keep multiple options open," Francona said. "When you send a guy down, unless there's an injury, they need to stay down for 10 days. By the time he would need to pitch again, it would be 12 days.
"We're not going to pitch him Tuesday here in a sim game, so he can go back down. It just creates an extra roster spot."
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com.