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After thrilling promotion, Crockett makes Majors debut

CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Kyle Crockett was called into Double-A Akron manager Dave Wallace's office on Friday morning to receive some good news. Crockett was told he was being promoted, and the pitcher was thrilled with the idea of advancing to Triple-A Columbus.

Crockett did not realize that Wallace meant the reliever was actually heading to Cleveland.

"He was like: 'You're going to the big leagues,'" Crockett said. "My heart stopped, and I kind of just sat there and started crying. It was just a great experience."

Prior to Friday's game against the A's, the Indians promoted Crockett and optioned right-handed starter Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus. By calling up Crockett, Cleveland manager Terry Francona now has nine relievers in his bullpen until the Indians need a fifth starter, which will be Triple-A's Trevor Bauer, on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Crockett -- selected in the fourth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft -- became the first player from his Draft class to reach the Major Leagues in any organization.

And with Zach McAllister's early exit in the second inning on Friday, Crockett became the first of his class to make his Major League debut. He gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings of work. After McAllister gave up eight runs, Crockett came in with one out, and after issuing a walk, got out of the inning with a double play. In the third, he gave up a leadoff homer to Jed Lowrie and a single before inducing a pair of flyouts. He was relieved by C.C. Lee with two outs.

"Give our scouting staff a lot of credit," Francona said before the game. "This kid's not a real imposing, big kid, but he's given up two runs in his professional career so far. He's not going to be intimidated. He pounds the strike zone. He throw all his pitches for strikes.

"He's kind of a polished kid. There's not a ton of development left other than facing Major League hitters."

In parts of two professional seasons, Crockett has fashioned a 0.45 ERA with 49 strikeouts and eight walks in 40 1/3 innings across three levels. In 15 appearances for Akron this year, Crockett had a 0.57 ERA with six saves and 17 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. Crockett held hitters to a .145 average overall, and he limited left-handed batters to a .118 (2-for-17) average.

Reaching the big leagues so swiftly was not something Crockett expected.

"Yeah, that'd be pretty fair to say," Crockett said with a smile. "Just hearing stories from other guys, I thought that the Minor League life would be a lot tougher. It's a long struggle. But I moved pretty quickly to Akron and then up to here. It's kind of been a whirlwind. It's definitely a surprise, but a very good one."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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