CLEVELAND -- The Indians' bullpen returned to order on Friday, when closer Cody Allen was reinstated from Major League Baseball's paternity list. Allen missed the past two games in Baltimore to be with his wife for the birth of their son, while lefty Andrew Miller filled in as Cleveland's closer.
CLEVELAND -- The Indians' bullpen returned to order on Friday, when closer Cody Allen was reinstated from Major League Baseball's paternity list. Allen missed the past two games in Baltimore to be with his wife for the birth of their son, while lefty Andrew Miller filled in as Cleveland's closer. With Allen back, the Indians optioned right-hander Adam Plutko to Triple-A Columbus and continue to have eight arms in the bullpen.
"With having a baby and everything, I said, 'You take care of what you've got to take care of," Indians manager Terry Francona said prior to Friday's game against the Twins. "He texted me this morning and said, 'I'm good to go.'"
During the recent 7-1 swing through Minnesota and Baltimore, Allen assumed the leverage role, while Miller handled closing duties. Francona flip-flopped their roles temporarily to help take some of the load off Miller, who has been used heavily and in high-stress situations so far this season. While Allen is expected to return as the primary closer, Francona said he will switch the righty with Miller when deemed appropriate.
"Because of Cody's willingness, it made it a lot easier for me to do that," Francona said. "I think when it makes sense, we'll do it. It's nice to know that both guys are kind of willing to do whatever it takes to win, so we'll just use good judgment. And I'll talk to those guys, so they always have an idea what's going on."
In 27 appearances for the Tribe this season, Allen has posted a 2.00 ERA with 15 saves, 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27 innings. Miller headed into Friday's action with a 1.63 ERA, 57 strikeouts and nine walks in 38 2/3 innings this year.
Plutko will resume his starting role at Columbus after spending the past seven days in the Indians' bullpen without making an appearance. Due to a doubleheader last weekend against the Twins, and a flurry of other transactions in recent days, Plutko was kept in the fold as insurance for the relief corps.
• Left fielder Michael Brantley (on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle) ran on a treadmill on Friday, and will continue to increase his activity this weekend, per Francona. Brantley is eligible to be activated on Monday.
• Righty Danny Salazar (on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder issue) is scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game with Double-A Akron on Monday. Francona said the next step would either be another sim game or potentially a Minor League rehab outing.
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.