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Indians option Anderson, add Cole to 40-man

@goodforball
May 11, 2019

OAKLAND -- To maintain a semblance of a rested bullpen, Cleveland purchased the contract of right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Columbus and optioned right-hander Cody Anderson to Columbus before Saturday's 3-2, walk-off loss to the A's. The move was prompted partly by the need for Anderson to continue to work

OAKLAND -- To maintain a semblance of a rested bullpen, Cleveland purchased the contract of right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Columbus and optioned right-hander Cody Anderson to Columbus before Saturday's 3-2, walk-off loss to the A's.

The move was prompted partly by the need for Anderson to continue to work his way back from Tommy John surgery, which shelved him for all of 2017 and most of ‘18, in a less-pressurized environment. Anderson, 28, started Friday night’s series opener at the Coliseum and threw 68 pitches while surrendering two runs off of three hits, issuing three walks and striking out three in three innings.

“You’re trying to pitch competitively for the first time in 18 months. It’s not easy,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Saturday.

Immediate needs also helped dictate the move. Cleveland used seven relievers in its 4-3, 12-inning loss to Oakland on Friday. Left-hander Tyler Olson was the lone Cleveland reliever not to pitch. Francona wanted potential reinforcement for the bullpen if Trevor Bauer, Saturday’s starter, were to falter or another extra-inning game developed.

“The one guy you want on the mound is Trevor today,” Francona said before the game, referring to Bauer’s ability to pitch deep into ballgames. “But if something ever happened, the only guy fresh is Olson, so we just wanted to protect ourselves a little bit.”

Bauer delivered, pitching seven two-hit innings on Saturday. Cole entered the game in the eighth, pitching 1 1/3 innings before Ramon Laureano's walk-off single ended the game. Cole had one strikeout, one walk and allowed one run off two hits.

Cole, 27, was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and two saves in 13 relief appearances this season for Columbus. He had struck out 21 while walking five in 17 innings. Cole had been particularly effective against right-handed batters, limiting them to a .121 batting average. Opponents were hitting .179 off him overall.

• Tyler Naquin’s left calf tightness forced Francona to scratch the right fielder from Saturday’s lineup. Jordan Luplow replaced Naquin and batted sixth, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.