NEW YORK -- In need of reinforcements for a taxed bullpen, the Indians acquired reliever Oliver Drake from the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations on Saturday morning. Drake will report to the Major League club in the coming days.The move marked the fourth consecutive day that the Indians completed
NEW YORK -- In need of reinforcements for a taxed bullpen, the Indians acquired reliever Oliver Drake from the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations on Saturday morning. Drake will report to the Major League club in the coming days.
The move marked the fourth consecutive day that the Indians completed a transaction involving the bullpen, which has dealt with injuries, extra-inning games and a doubleheader over the past two weeks. Since Wednesday, right-handers Ben Taylor, Evan Marshall and Alexi Ogando were also added to the beleaguered relief corps.
"We're just trying to keep our bullpen fresh, replenished, whatever word you want to use," Indians manager Terry Francona said prior to Saturday's game against the Yankees. "I think enough of our scouts saw some things in there that, sometimes, guys go to a different place and get a clean start. We've all seen it happen."
On April 23, the Indians' bullpen ranked third in the American League and fourth in the Majors with a 2.55 ERA. In the following 12 games, Cleveland's relievers combined for an 8.61 ERA in 38 2/3 innings combined, pushing the group's collective ERA on the year to 5.11, which ranked 28th in MLB and 13th in the AL entering Saturday's game in New York.
Drake, 31, has posted a 6.39 ERA in 11 appearances for Milwaukee this season, striking out 15 and walking eight in 12 2/3 innings. In 102 career games in the Majors, dating back to 2015, the right-hander has turned in a 4.49 ERA with a 3.49 Fielding Indepedent Pitching and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 102 1/3 innings.
Last season, Drake had a 4.66 ERA in 64 games between stints with the Orioles and Brewers. The righty features a four-seamer that sits around 93 mph, along with a splitter and curveball.
If necessary, Drake could fly to New York to join the Indians for Sunday's finale in the Bronx. Francona said the other option is having Drake stay put for the time being in Milwaukee, where the Indians will have a two-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"We'll see. I think we have 72 hours," Francona said. "I know our guys have been in touch with him. We'll kind of see where we are [after Saturday's game]. I think the easiest thing would be for him to meet us there. Obviously, the kind of games we've been playing, we'll reserve the right to kind of re-evaluate it."
• Left-hander Andrew Miller, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring issue, threw off a mound on Saturday, per Francona. The tentative plan calls for Miller to have at least one more bullpen session prior to being activated. Said Francona: "When doing the right thing isn't the easiest thing, that's when you've really got to make sure that you do [it]."
• Left-hander Ryan Merritt (10-day DL, left knee) began a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Friday. Merritt allowed four runs on eight hits, including three homers, in 4 1/3 innings against Charlotte.
• Columbus third baseman Yandy Diaz, who spent 49 games with the Indians in 2017, has not played for the Clippers since April 30 due to a minor ankle injury, according to Francona.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.