8/7/2014 8:50 P.M. ET
Carrasco to get rotation turn against Yankees
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Carlos Carrasco has resided in the Indians' bullpen for the bulk of this season, but the right-hander still views himself as a starter in the long run. Come Sunday, Carrasco will get another chance to step in as a member of the rotation.
"Today, they told me I'm going to start," Carrasco said prior to Thursday's game against the Reds. "So, they gave me another opportunity to do it."
Manager Terry Francona said that a variety of factors led to the decision to send Carrasco to the mound to start on the road Sunday against the Yankees. Two were that the righty logged 59 pitches in his most recent relief outing on Tuesday and the Indians have a scheduled off-day on Monday.
If Carrasco struggles or begins to fight fatigue, Francona should be able to have plenty of bullpen arms -- including former starter Josh Tomlin -- ready to pick up the slack.
"I just think he's in a good position to go ahead and do this," Francona said. "You try to combine letting him get in there, still winning and not burning the bullpen. I think we're probably in a situation where we can hopefully accomplish all of them."
Carrasco began the season in Cleveland's rotation, but he went 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts before being relegated to relief work. Since then, the right-hander has turned in a 2.30 ERA to go along with a .217 opponents' average, 39 strikeouts and nine walks through 43 innings out of the bullpen.
Francona said a key for Carrasco has been establishing a solid routine, which he will not change in the days leading up to Sunday's start. The manager was also not willing to promise anything to Carrasco beyond the upcoming outing in New York.
"We just told him to go pitch on Sunday," Francona said. "Because we have days off [on Monday, Aug. 14 and Aug. 18], we don't quite know what we're doing with everything."
Before Thursday's game in Cincinnati, the Indians optioned right-handed starter Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus and recalled righty reliever C.C. Lee to give the bullpen an extra arm. Salazar is scheduled to make one start in the Minors before rejoining Cleveland later this month.
Pestano dealt for Angels' prospect Clevinger
CINCINNATI -- Vinnie Pestano received some bittersweet news on Thursday. The reliever has only known the Indians organization during his professional career, but it was becoming increasingly clear that a fresh start might do him some good.
On Thursday, Cleveland traded Pestano to the Angels in a Minor League deal for Class A right-hander Michael Clevinger. Pestano, who has been with Triple-A Columbus for the past few weeks, will join Los Angeles' Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate.
"I saw the writing on the wall a little bit," Pestano said in a phone interview on Thursday. "There are some other guys that [the Indians] are more fond of. It's part of the game and I get that. I'm excited for a new opportunity. It's good to feel wanted. You're always pitching for 29 other teams -- not just your own.
"I'm glad to get a fresh start with somebody else and an opportunity to impact their club. I'm not upset or mad or anything."
Pestano, 29, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on July 12 after posting a 1.42 ERA in his most recent 10 appearances for Cleveland, which was using the former setup man nearly exclusively against right-handed batters. At Triple-A this season, the right-hander posted a 1.78 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 12 walks in 30 1/3 innings (32 games).
"I was getting a lot of swings and misses from righties," Pestano said of his work in the Minors. "In Cleveland, I was able to do that after I got called back up [on June 20]. So, I was just looking to carry that forward when I came back down. I've felt like I've been in a good spot for a while with where things are at."
Prospect acquired by Indians
Michael Clevinger, RHP: A fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Seminole State (Fla.) CC, Clevinger was establishing himself as the best pitching prospect in the Angels system the following year when he blew out his elbow. He missed much of the 2012 season and most of 2013 after Tommy John surgery, and he has been knocked around in the hitter-friendly high Class A California League this year. At his best, Clevinger shows the potential for four average or better pitches -- a low-90s fastball, a sharp slider, a curveball and a deceptive changeup. His delivery features more effort than scouts would like, which hampers his control and command. If he eventually has to move to the bullpen, he has hit 96 mph in a relief role in the past.Top 20 Prospects: Angels | Indians
-- Jim Callis
Pestano -- selected by the Indians in the 20th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft -- quickly became a fan favorite and energetic clubhouse presence during ascension to the setup role in the 2011-12 seasons. In those two years, the righty turned in a 2.45 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 132 innings (137 games). He also set Cleveland's single-season holds record with 36 in the 2012 campaign.
Across the 2013-14 seasons, Pestano had a 4.26 ERA with a 1.62 WHIP, 50 strikeouts and 22 walks in only 44 1/3 innings (50 appearances) for Cleveland. During that span, he dealt with an elbow injury and diminished velocity, leading to trips to and from Triple-A.
The 23-year-old Clevinger has split his season between Class A (low) Burlington and Class A (high) Inland Empire, where he went a combined 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 18 starts. Clevinger (a fourth-round pick in the 2011 Draft) has 85 strikeouts against 32 walks in 79 1/3 innings this year.
"Vinnie was a very valuable member of the organization who made some great contributions to our bullpen throughout his time with us," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "As we've had Major League bullpen opportunities over the course of the last month, we've promoted other pitchers from Columbus, so we thought it made sense to give Vinnie a fresh start with the Angels.
"In return, we acquired a young pitcher who we think has a chance to help our Major League team in the next few years."
As for Pestano, who was raised near from Angel Stadium, he is looking forward to his next big league chance in his old stomping grounds.
"I grew up 10 minutes away from the stadium and I played in college 10 minutes away, to," said Pestano, who attended Cal-State Fullerton. "I've been in the shadow of that halo for a while, so it'll be nice to get back out there."
Quote to note
"We're right in the thick of things both in the [AL Central] division and the Wild Card. I don't think we've had really a hot streak all year. We have the memory of last year that we can get hot at the end, and come down the stretch and do that, but we don't want to wait until the last 10 games and count on that to make it our stretch. We're going to have to win some games and some series before that and make it easier on ourselves."
--Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis
• The Indians unveiled a wave of renovation and enhancement plans for Progressive Field on Thursday. The ballclub is planning on dramatically altering the space behind right and center field, creating better sightlines and more social areas. Francona was impressed with the renderings.
"I love what they're trying to do," Francona said. "I know they've been mulling things over for a while. I think they're trying to get our ballpark more in line with maybe the size of our city and our fan base, and also try to attract maybe younger families and try to make it be a destination. From what I've seen, it looks pretty cool."
• Right-hander Shaun Marcum, whose comeback from thoracic outlet syndrome has slowed his schedule all season, was activated from the disabled list by Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. The 32-year-old Marcum (a veteran of eight seasons in the Majors) will work as a reliever for the time being with Columbus.
• Center fielder Michael Bourn (on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury) was scheduled to resume a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Thursday. Bourn was slated to play seven innings after logging five in his first rehab game with Akron on Tuesday.