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Bullpen reinforcements join Tribe in Arlington

Former Padres relievers Hand, Cimber were acquired via trade Thursday
MLB.com @MLBastian

ARLINGTON -- After appearing in the All-Star Game, Brad Hand was still in Washington with his family on Thursday morning, when his phone buzzed during breakfast. Out in San Diego, Adam Cimber woke up to a missed call from Padres general manager A.J. Preller.

They had both been traded to the Indians in exchange for catching prospect Francisco Mejia. Hand had to reorganize his travel plans, abandoning his belongings on the West Coast. Cimber got a quick workout in at Petco Park, emptied out his locker and packed up his apartment. By Friday afternoon, the former Padres teammates were in Texas with the Tribe.

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ARLINGTON -- After appearing in the All-Star Game, Brad Hand was still in Washington with his family on Thursday morning, when his phone buzzed during breakfast. Out in San Diego, Adam Cimber woke up to a missed call from Padres general manager A.J. Preller.

They had both been traded to the Indians in exchange for catching prospect Francisco Mejia. Hand had to reorganize his travel plans, abandoning his belongings on the West Coast. Cimber got a quick workout in at Petco Park, emptied out his locker and packed up his apartment. By Friday afternoon, the former Padres teammates were in Texas with the Tribe.

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"It's going to be fun," Hand said. "I'm just going to do everything I can to try do whatever I can and help out. They're in first place right now. It's going to be fun for sure."

Prior to Friday's game against the Rangers, Hand (No. 33) and Cimber (No. 90) were officially added to Cleveland's roster and had their first sit-downs with manager Terry Francona. The manager envisions Cimber as a weapon against tough right-handed batters and believes Hand can serve as a leverage arm for late innings, even garning some save chances.

Video: Rosenthal on Indians getting Hand, Cimber for Mejia

Francona said Friday that right-hander Cody Allen (4.66 ERA, 20 saves and 47 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings) will still get the bulk of the save opportunities. The goal for Hand (3.05 ERA, 24 saves and 65 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings) is to have him carry a similar load as Allen, working in the ninth when it makes the most sense.

"He's kind of along the same lines as Cody," Francona said. "He's like, 'Hey, I just want to pitch.' And I told him my biggest thing is to keep their workloads even. If that means flip-flopping sometimes, we can. Like, if there's three lefties coming up potentially in the ninth, it seems a little silly to pitch backwards. I still would like for the most part for Cody to close games for us."

Francona said an added benefit to acquiring Hand and Cimber (3.17 ERA, .482 opponenents' OPS vs. right-handed batters and 51 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings) is that the manager can ease the rotation's innings. Cleveland's starters ranked second in MLB in pitches per game (98.9) in the first half largely due to the bullpen's struggles (29th in MLB with a 5.28 ERA).

With Hand and Cimber in the fold, Francona feels he can better utilize relievers Oliver Perez, Dan Otero, Neil Ramirez and Zach McAllister.

"Now, we have another option," Francona said. "So, you may see a starter come out maybe five, six pitches before you would've before, because I think we have an answer coming around [in the later innings]."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hand strikes out Gomes swinging in the 8th

Zimmer undergoes surgery
Outfielder Bradley Zimmer (Minor League disabled list) will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on Friday in Dallas via Dr. Keith Meister. The specifics of Zimmer's procedure and the estimated timetable for his return were not immediately known.

Zimmer, 25, was the Tribe's Opening Day center fielder, but struggled in 34 games in the big leagues, hitting .226 (.611 OPS) with 44 strikeouts in 114 plate appearances. The outfielder was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on June 5 and began experiencing shoulder discomfort shortly thereafter.

"I feel so bad for him. I was texting with him last night," Francona said on Friday. "He's such a good kid. I don't have any doubt -- he'll come back from this. He's not a pitcher. It's just missing the developmental time. But, OK, so if his clock changes a little bit, that doesn't mean he's not going to be a great player."

Video: Must C Catch: Zimmer lays out for spectacular grab

Quoteable
"When I heard he was coming, it was a big breath of fresh air. It's nice to know somebody here. Obviously, I'm going to need to know all these guys. I'm looking forward to that. But on Day 1, it's nice to have somebody that's a veteran in a bullpen that you've been a part of, who can take you under his wing. I'm just looking forward to going through it with him." -- Cimber, on being traded with Hand

Worth noting
• Lefty Andrew Miller (10-day DL, right knee) is scheduled to make his third Minor League rehab appearance with Triple-A Columbus on Sunday. The reliever will then meet with Francona and the team's medical staff when the team returns to Cleveland to discuss the next steps.

"He's doing good," Francona said. "He probably needs to pitch at least two or three more times -- that's probably being conservative. But, the good news is he's working on his pitching and he's not so much thinking about his knee and where he's landing and things like that. So, he's definitely trending in the right way."

• With the Tribe's pitching staff getting four days off over the All-Star break, and given the 100-plus degree temperatures in Texas this weekend, the Indians prioritized having an extra position player (Yandy Diaz and Melky Cabrera were both promoted from Triple-A) over an additional arm for the next few days. One player will need to come off the roster Tuesday to clear room for starter Shane Bieber being recalled from Columbus.

• Both ace Corey Kluber (right knee) and Josh Tomlin (10-day DL, right hamstring) have resumed throwing, and Kluber remains on target to start for Cleveland on Monday against the Pirates. There is no established timetable for Tomlin's return.

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.

Cleveland Indians, Adam Cimber, Brad Hand