BOSTON -- Indians manager Terry Francona has said many times that he does not think a team should carry a lefty in its bullpen just for the sake of having one. That belief will now be put to the test.Before Sunday's game against the Red Sox, the Indians optioned left-hander
BOSTON -- Indians manager Terry Francona has said many times that he does not think a team should carry a lefty in its bullpen just for the sake of having one. That belief will now be put to the test.
Before Sunday's game against the Red Sox, the Indians optioned left-hander Kyle Crockett to Triple-A Columbus and recalled righty Austin Adams from the same affiliate. That gives the Tribe eight right-handed relievers.
"Austin's been throwing the ball really well," Francona said. "Getting us a guy that can pitch a complete inning probably serves us better going through this week, just because there's a lot of baseball. He's been pitching really well and we know him, he's been here. I just think it's a good time to get him here."
The Indians have a doubleheader looming on Monday against the White Sox, so Francona felt having a fresh reliever could help the situation, too.
The decision came after the 24-year-old Crockett posted a 14.73 ERA in 11 appearances, in which he gave up six runs on seven hits. Crockett also allowed a .385 opponents' average (and a 1.005 OPS) against left-handed batters.
With Crockett eliminated from the mix for now, the Indians' bullpen consists of righties Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister, Joba Chamberlain, Jeff Manship, Dan Otero, Tommy Hunter and Adams. Helping matters is the fact that Chamberlain (.111 average), McAllister (.171), Allen (.212), Hunter (.222) and Otero (.231) have all fared well against left-handed batters this year.
Adams has also done well against lefies, holding them to a .138 (4-for-29) showing at Triple-A Columbus this season. In 14 games with the Clippers, the hard-throwing righty posted a 1.10 ERA with 18 strikeouts against five walks in 16 1/3 innings.
Adams has pitched for the Indians in each of the past two seasons, posting a 4.69 ERA in 34 games. Last year, Adams appeared in 28 games for Cleveland and turned in a 3.78 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 33 1/3 innings.
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 listen to his podcast.