Acta chooses an extra arm over an extra bat

Acta chooses an extra arm over an extra bat

Acta chooses an extra arm over an extra bat
ANAHEIM -- You can't blame Indians manager Manny Acta for erring on the side of caution when it comes to his bullpen. Cleveland starters have been inconsistent for much of the season, and Acta's bullpen has been faced with a heavy workload as a result.

That workload increased during the Indians' 11-game losing streak from July 27 to Aug. 7.

Justin Masterson snapped that streak Aug. 8 and the Indians put together a run of four straight games of holding opponents to three runs or less. But the potential for continuing inconsistencies troubled Acta.

So given the choice between a normal, four-man bench and an extra arm in the bullpen, Acta opted for the latter, and says he plans to keep things that way for the foreseeable future.

"We don't have a timetable, but if we feel like we get to a point where we need a position player, we'll do it," Acta said. "For now things are status quo."

Status quo for most American League teams is a four-man bench and a seven-man bullpen, but Acta says he doesn't think the missing bat takes much from his roster.

"I think you can get away with it in the American League because you're not pinch-hitting that much," Acta said. "To be realistic, our bench hasn't been the strength of our club so it's not like we're pinch-hitting every single night. ... Right now it's convenient to have those eight arms."

Acta's caution paid dividends in Tuesday night's 9-6 loss to the Angels, as starter Ubaldo Jimenez was knocked around for eight runs in four innings, forcing the Tribe relief corps to work the remaining four.