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Huff a candidate for relief role

Huff a candidate for relief role

Huff a candidate for relief role
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Over the past week, Indians manager Manny Acta has said on multiple occasions that the team might get creative with assembling its roster at the end of camp. That approach might apply to the battle for the two available bullpen jobs.

On Saturday, Acta indicated that Cleveland has not ruled out left-hander David Huff as a long reliever. Up to this point in spring, Huff had only been mentioned as one of the three candidates, along with Jeanmar Gomez and Kevin Slowey, for the fifth starter job.

"We're still not set on that," Acta said on Saturday. "We have to evaluate that, run it through our pitching coaches to see whether he can adjust or not to that type of [relief] role. He hasn't done it here. But, he's a viable candidate for it."

That puts Huff among a list of relief candidates that also includes Frank Herrmann, Nick Hagadone, Jeremy Accardo, Dan Wheeler, Chris Ray, Robinson Tejeda and Henricus van den Hurk. Last week, Acta also floated the idea of considering Gomez as a reliever, though he appears to be the front-runner for the fifth rotation job right now.

Huff pitched three innings on Friday night against the Angels and was charged with two runs on three hits with three strikeouts. It marked the fourth appearance in a row that the lefty logged three innings. Huff said he was pleased with his secondary pitches on Friday, but noted that he is still working on his fastball command.

Huff, who has spent parts of the past three seasons in the big leagues with Cleveland, has worked as a starter his entire career. That said, the lefty is not necessarily against the idea of being used as a reliever, especially if it enhances his chances of making the Opening Day roster.

"I'm willing to do whatever they want me to do," said Huff, who has a 5.79 ERA in five Cactus League outings this spring.

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