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Almonte optioned as Tribe recalls Armstrong

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Before their game on Wednesday against the Angels at Progressive Field, the Indians recalled right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus. As a result of Armstrong's promotion, outfielder Abraham Almonte was optioned to Columbus.

The roster move comes one day after the Indians used all six of their relievers in an extra-inning 11-7 victory over the Angels on Tuesday. With the heavy load the bullpen carried on Tuesday night -- in addition to the Tribe's current six-man starting rotation -- Armstrong gives the Indians a fresh arm in the 'pen.

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CLEVELAND -- Before their game on Wednesday against the Angels at Progressive Field, the Indians recalled right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus. As a result of Armstrong's promotion, outfielder Abraham Almonte was optioned to Columbus.

The roster move comes one day after the Indians used all six of their relievers in an extra-inning 11-7 victory over the Angels on Tuesday. With the heavy load the bullpen carried on Tuesday night -- in addition to the Tribe's current six-man starting rotation -- Armstrong gives the Indians a fresh arm in the 'pen.

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"As far as our team goes, we just have to protect our arms," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Once you go too far [with the bullpen], it's so hard to get caught back up. So to protect it and give yourself a chance to win is really important."

Armstrong has shuttled between Cleveland and Columbus throughout the season, as he is beginning his sixth stint with the Indians. In 16 relief appearances (19 innings) out of the Indians' bullpen entering Wednesday, Armstrong has gone 1-0 with 4.26 ERA and 16 strikeouts against six walks. With Columbus this season, Armstrong has gone 1-0 with seven saves and a 2.33 ERA in 17 games, and has held right-handed hitters to a .135 batting average.

In 44 games this season, Almonte has hit .244 with three homers, five doubles, three triples and 10 RBIs. The switch-hitting outfielder had been swinging the bat well lately, as he has gone 12-for-39 (.308) with two homers, two doubles, two triples, three walks and four RBIs in his past 12 games.

"Yeah, as exciting as last night was, a lot of times somebody has to pay a price for it," Francona said. "... We didn't want to send Abe down. But one, if there is an injury, guys can come back. If there's not, they're eligible 10 days later. It's not like it's a month. And I know it's hard for the player, and I totally respect that."

With Almonte in Columbus, the Indians now have four outfielders, with Michael Brantley in left, Bradley Zimmer in center and Austin Jackson in right. Brandon Guyer provides a backup option off the bench.

"[Almonte's] OK. He's disappointed. I mean, shoot, I'd be, too," Francona said. "Because it wasn't something he did, [he] didn't even play [yesterday]. But Abe's been through a lot with us, and we're pretty fond of him, and I just told him to kind of keep his head up and do what he does. The at-bats, actually, can do him some good.

"I don't think we ever worry about Abe not doing the right thing. He'll go to Triple-A and he'll give himself a kick in the butt if he needs it. He'll be fine."

William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Cleveland Indians, Abraham Almonte, Shawn Armstrong