08/15/12 10:32 PM ET
Acta chooses an extra arm over an extra bat
By Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
That workload increased during the Indians' 11-game losing streak from July 27 to Aug. 7.
Justin Masterson snapped that streak Aug. 8 and the Indians put together a run of four straight games of holding opponents to three runs or less. But the potential for continuing inconsistencies troubled Acta.
So given the choice between a normal, four-man bench and an extra arm in the bullpen, Acta opted for the latter, and says he plans to keep things that way for the foreseeable future.
"We don't have a timetable, but if we feel like we get to a point where we need a position player, we'll do it," Acta said. "For now things are status quo."
Status quo for most American League teams is a four-man bench and a seven-man bullpen, but Acta says he doesn't think the missing bat takes much from his roster.
"I think you can get away with it in the American League because you're not pinch-hitting that much," Acta said. "To be realistic, our bench hasn't been the strength of our club so it's not like we're pinch-hitting every single night. ... Right now it's convenient to have those eight arms."
Acta's caution paid dividends in Tuesday night's 9-6 loss to the Angels, as starter Ubaldo Jimenez was knocked around for eight runs in four innings, forcing the Tribe relief corps to work the remaining four.
Seddon: A young arm with many roles
ANAHEIM -- In Chris Seddon's first outing as an Indian on Aug. 5, he started and went 4 1/3 innings against the Tigers. His next outing was one-third of an inning in relief against the Twins two days later. Three days after that, Seddon started again, this time firing six innings of three-run ball against the Red Sox, his last appearance before Tuesday night's 2 1/3 innings of relief against the Angels.
In other words, Seddon's pretty much done anything and everything the Indians have needed in the week and a half since having his contract purchased from Triple-A Columbus, and he's doing it all in the whirlwind of his first stint in the big leagues since 2010, when he was a long man for the Mariners.
The 28-year-old made his Major League debut in September 2007 as a member of the Florida Marlins. His next big league appearance wasn't until that 2010 tenure with Seattle. He was predominantly a starter with both organizations throughout his Minor League career, though all but six of his 25 big league appearances have been in relief.
Seddon admits that it hasn't been easy switching roles so frequently, but he feels fortunate to have big league experience in both capacities.
"It can be difficult if you let it get to you," Seddon said. "When I was with Seattle, though, I was a long guy, so I have some routines from over there. I have those routines to fall back on, and if they made the choice to have me start, I'd be able to do that."
Where he has less experience is as a matchup lefty, a role he filled in that quick appearance against the Twins last week, and one that manager Manny Acta said he may fill again in the weeks to come.
"Right now, without [injured Josh] Tomlin, he can be our long man and he can also be our matchup guy," Acta said. "He can do both, that's why he's got value. That's why we're keeping him here."
Rookie Allen proves effective on all levels
ANAHEIM -- Hours before Wednesday's game with the Angels, reliever Cody Allen looked around the Indians' clubhouse, smiled, and said, "It's like heaven, I guess."
"Guys talk about it all the time in the Minor Leagues," said Allen, 23, of being in the Majors, now for three weeks. "You get little tidbits from guys, but you don't get the full idea of all these details."
Allen has been a godsend for the Cleveland bullpen since making his debut on July 20. The righty, who began 2012 in Class A ball, has carried the momentum from his meteoric rise through the Indians' system into an equally stellar first stretch in the Majors. He has not allowed a run, a scoreless streak of 11 1/3 innings. That's the longest scoreless streak to start a career for any Indians reliever since 1984, when Tom Waddell put up zeros for 12 1/3 innings before giving up a run.
"I didn't try to think about numbers, I just tried to think about controlling what I could control," Allen said. "If I make good pitches and they get a hit ... so be it. I've just tried to stick with what I've been doing because that's worked all season long."
What he's been doing all year is taking advantage of hitters who don't necessarily know his stuff -- and when you move from the Class A Carolina League to the Double-A Eastern League to the Triple-A International League in a span of four months, no one really has time to build too much firsthand experience. That element of the unknown is something the Florida native hopes to utilize in the Majors, too.
"I'm just throwing strikes, trying to stay ahead of these guys. A lot of these guys, they've never seen me before, so that's an advantage for me to get ahead in the count," Allen said. "When you get behind in the count, everybody throws a fastball, but they haven't seen my breaking ball. If you get behind in the count, they know what's coming."
Allen said that while there's a lot to love about life in the big leagues, road trips like the one he's on now might be his toughest adjustment as the season goes on.
"The travel's a little tougher on me than I thought -- changing times, how frequently you do it," Allen said. "That's probably been the thing I'm having to get used to the most, just trying to stay consistent everywhere I go with what I'm doing."
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.