CLEVELAND -- Left-handed relief has been a problem area for the Indians all season long. It makes sense for Cleveland to begin sorting through possible alternatives as it plans for the offseason ahead and next year.
On Wednesday, the Indians claimed lefty Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs and optioned the pitcher to Triple-A Columbus. The Tribe feels Maine could possibly provide the organization with some depth as a left-handed specialist.
"He's an interesting guy, especially being left-handed," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Some people feel that he could be a good matchup guy down the road."
This season, the Indians have used lefties Tony Sipp, Nick Hagadone, Scott Barnes, Rafael Perez and Chris Seddon out of the bullpen.
Sipp has posted a 4.57 ERA in a rocky season, Hagadone posted a 6.39 ERA before breaking his left hand, Barnes fashioned an 8.10 ERA and was shipped back to Triple-A, and Perez has been on the disabled list due to a left lat strain since April. Seddon has posted a 4.12 ERA as a spot starter and long reliever.
Acta would not say whether Maine was a candidate to be called up in September.
"We'll see," said the manager.
In 41 career games with the Cubs, dating back to 2010, the 27-year-old Maine has a 4.87 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 22 walks over 40 2/3 innings. Between three stints with Chicago this year, he has posted a 4.79 ERA with 26 strikeouts against 12 walks in 20 2/3 innings. Lefties hit .130 (3-for-23) off Maine in the big leagues this year.
Maine also went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 28 games for Triple-A Iowa this season with 29 strikeouts and 13 walks in 34 1/3 innings.
"He's a lefty who has a pretty good arm, throws 91-94 mph," Acta said. "And he has a good slider. He's had a little bit of issues with his command. He's had success in the Minor Leagues."