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Healthy again, Joba set to come off DL

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- Joba Chamberlain fired an inside pitch to Michael Martinez, whose attempt at a swing resulted in a broken bat. The Indians reliever began laughing on the mound and shouting at the utility man, barking that he warned him what was coming before Saturday's simulated game.

"I said I was going to take one," Chamberlain said with a laugh after his workout prior to Cleveland's game against the Royals. "I go, 'You might want to bring a couple, because I'm at least going to get one.'"

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Joba Chamberlain fired an inside pitch to Michael Martinez, whose attempt at a swing resulted in a broken bat. The Indians reliever began laughing on the mound and shouting at the utility man, barking that he warned him what was coming before Saturday's simulated game.

"I said I was going to take one," Chamberlain said with a laugh after his workout prior to Cleveland's game against the Royals. "I go, 'You might want to bring a couple, because I'm at least going to get one.'"

Full Game Coverage

In what might be the final step before being activated from the 15-day disabled list, Chamberlain worked through a 20-pitch mound session on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander mixed in all his pitches and worked to both sides of the plate, doing all he could to prove to the team's medical staff that he is over the strained left intercostal that sidelined him on May 22.

Chamberlain is eligible to be activated from the DL on Monday and the reliever is hopeful he will be ready to rejoin the Tribe's bullpen at that point.

"From the get-go I'm just trying to have a plan in effect," Chamberlain said, "and hopefully not try to miss more than the 15 days, and get on top of it. We made sure that we did that. Just to be out there and know everything feels good -- both sides of the plate -- and be able to get on some stuff and still have good spin, everything was positive."

Through 14 appearances this season, Chamberlain has posted a 1.93 ERA with 15 strikeouts, six walks and a .133 opponents' average in 14 innings. The reliever did not feel quite right in his outing against the Red Sox on May 21 and alerted Cleveland's medical staff. Having dealt with a similar issue in the past, Chamberlain did not want to take any chances, especially with a doubleheader looming on May 23.

"I guess as I get older I start to listen to myself a little more," Chamberlain said. "I felt that little thing and [hoped to] just to be able to cut it down to two weeks instead of making it a month. I've had it before, so I know it can linger."

Indians manager Terry Francona indicated that a Minor League rehab assignment probably is not necessary, meaning Chamberlain might be cleared to be reinstated Monday in Seattle.

"He really hasn't been out very long," Francona said. "I actually hope maybe this will help. I know you have to shake off a little bit of rust, but giving a guy [some rest] with his arm when he has something else could actually really help him, because he's throwing the ball really well.

"We'll see how he feels [Sunday], for sure -- make sure there's not setbacks or ramifications of throwing. I think he's raring to go."

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.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cleveland Indians, Joba Chamberlain