Indians recall Armstrong from Triple-A

Urshela, Clevinger optioned to Columbus

Indians recall Armstrong from Triple-A

MINNEAPOLIS -- Shawn Armstrong has spent the past 24 hours in Minneapolis, providing some insurance in the event that the Indians' bullpen required an additional arm. The reliever was informed Sunday morning that he was needed at Target Field.

Prior to Cleveland's game against the Twins, Armstrong was called up from Triple-A Columbus, marking his fourth stint with the big league club this season. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela, who was promoted on Saturday for a one-game stay with the Tribe, was optioned back to the same affiliate.

"I'm just happy to be here," Armstrong said Sunday. "I was just watching a lot of baseball yesterday on TV."

The move to add Armstrong comes after Cleveland used seven of its eight relievers during Saturday's doubleheader sweep of the Twins. Four of those pitchers (Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, Nick Goody and Cody Allen) logged multi-inning efforts, and setup man Bryan Shaw's appearance marked the third consecutive day he was used.

Armstrong, who made the Opening Day bullpen with a strong showing in Spring Training, has appeared in nine games for Cleveland this season. In 12 innings, the hard-throwing righty has 13 strikeouts, six walks and a 6.00 ERA. Between his stops with the Indians, Armstrong has turned in a 2.93 ERA with 20 strikeouts and six walks in 15 1/3 innings (13 games) for Columbus.

"You're kind of starting to understand the process a little more," Armstrong said of bouncing between Triple-A and Cleveland. "And you understand what it takes to be here and help this team win. They do such a wonderful job of communicating and letting you know first-hand what's going on, even before it happens."

Urshela was promoted from Triple-A prior to the second game of Saturday's twin bill and started for the Indians at third base, going 0-for-4 in the team's 6-2 win. His arrival allowed manager Terry Francona to give second baseman Jason Kipnis (battling a stiff neck the past few days) the night game off. It also gave the Indians an extra position player, given that left fielder Michael Brantley (paternity leave) is currently away from the team.

The Indians also optioned right-hander Mike Clevinger to Columbus on Sunday, after he was recalled as the 26th man to start the second game Saturday. Cleveland still plans on recalling Clevinger again in time to slot him back into the rotation for Thursday's game in Baltimore.

In the meantime, Clevinger will join Columbus and throw his side session this week with the Clippers before rejoining the Indians.

"It was just so many moving parts," Francona said. "We want to win, put yourself in the best position to win, and also not leave here feeling like you're on fumes. Everybody's going to be tired today. That's a long day. But so far, we've accomplished what we wanted to."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.