CLEVELAND -- The Indians' ongoing auditions for 2009 received a heavy dose of new participants Tuesday. Six players were added to the Tribe's active roster from Triple-A Buffalo as part of September callups. Second baseman Josh Barfield made his long-awaited return from the disabled list, while first baseman Mike Aubrey, right-handers Brian Slocum, Tom Mastny and John Meloan and left-hander Rich Rundles all joined the club. Playing time for all of the above is expected to be sparse.
Barfield was called up from Buffalo on June 9 to take over the second-base duties from Asdrubal Cabrera. One day later, he strained the middle finger on his left hand -- an injury that required surgery. He began a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron and Buffalo last month and batted .225 (9-for-40) with two RBIs in 11 games with the Bisons. "My first week back, I felt like I had never played before," Barfield said. "As I got more at-bats, I got more in the groove." But Barfield likely won't find that groove in September. "We're going to try to get him in there when we can," manager Eric Wedge said. "But obviously with [Jamey] Carroll and [Asdrubal] Cabrera here, we have to pick our spots." Aubrey, Slocum and Mastny have all spent time with the Indians this year, but this will be the Tribe's first look at Meloan and Rundles. Meloan was one of two players acquired in the July 26 trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers. Upon joining the organization, the 24-year-old Meloan was converted from starting to relief work. He went 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 12 appearances at Buffalo. Don't expect to see much of Meloan, either. He's already thrown 119 2/3 innings this season, and Wedge said the Indians have to be careful with him. Rundles, whose contract was purchased from Buffalo so that he could be added to the 40-man roster, was signed as a Minor League free agent before the season and was in the Tribe's big league Spring Training camp. At Buffalo, he went 5-4 with four saves and a 2.91 ERA in 55 appearances. He held left-handers to a .165 average against, and he's allowed just one run over his last 16 appearances. "He has the potential to be a left-on-left guy," Wedge said. With Rundles added to the mix, the Tribe's 40-man roster now stands at 39 players. Mastny is beginning his fourth stint with the Indians in '08. All told, he is 1-2 with a 10.80 ERA in nine Major League appearances this season. Since his most recent option to Buffalo on Aug. 6, Mastny was 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA in nine appearances, eight of which were scoreless. Aubrey was a first-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, but he's battled a multitude of injuries throughout his professional career. He played in nine games for the Tribe earlier this season and homered twice in 27 at-bats. With the Bisons, he batted .281 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 72 games. Slocum was moved from the Buffalo rotation to the bullpen this year. He was 3-7 with one save and a 4.85 ERA in 30 appearances, including 11 starts. This is his third stint with the Indians this season. He gave up six runs over two innings in two previous appearances.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.