NEW YORK -- In need of relief, the Indians promoted right-hander Jensen Lewis from Triple-A Columbus. In need of another potential starting option, the club sent left-hander Aaron Laffey down to Columbus. Laffey is expected to get stretched back out as a starter after opening the season in the bullpen. Laffey made 20 appearances for the Tribe and had assumed a long-man role. He was 0-1 with a 5.61 ERA, striking out 11 and walking 13 in 25 2/3 innings. His 25 2/3 innings ranked eighth among American League relievers.
In Laffey's past two appearances -- one in long relief of Justin Masterson and the other in relief of David Huff on Saturday -- the Indians attempted to stretch him out. He labored in the emergency situation Saturday, and the Indians opted to send him down so that he could get stretched out in a standard starter's routine. "He took it well, because he's a smart kid and saw the writing on the wall after the last two outings," manager Manny Acta said. "Nobody wants to go down to the Minor Leagues. But we're doing what's best for the ballclub." It's no secret that Laffey could end up replacing Masterson in the rotation. Masterson took an 0-5 record and 6.13 ERA into Sunday's start at Yankee Stadium. The bullpen, meanwhile, was taxed by what transpired Saturday, when Huff was struck by an Alex Rodriguez line drive with one out in the third and was taken off the field on a motorized cart. Laffey came on in relief, and five relievers had to work 6 2/3 innings. Though Cleveland beat New York, 13-11, it was hardly an ideal scenario for an Indians team just two games into a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. Enter Lewis, who had performed well with the Clippers since his May 7 demotion. Lewis made seven appearances for Columbus, posting no record, one save and a 1.89 ERA. He struck out 10 and walked one in 10 2/3 innings, and six of his appearances were scoreless. With the Indians earlier this season, Lewis was 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked nine.