Herrmann has sprained elbow, shut down indefinitely

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Frank Herrmann entered camp this spring hoping to crack Cleveland's Opening Day rotation. Now, the Indians reliever is hoping his entire season is not in jeopardy.

On Friday, the Indians announced that Herrmann has been shut down indefinitely due to a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Cleveland is evaluating the extent of Herrmann's injury, and there is no timetable for his return.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti was not ready to say whether surgery was looming for Herrmann.

"It's really hard to say at this point," Antonetti said. "We first have to understand the severity of the injury and understand what the options are, and then progress from there. With Frank, we're still trying to get additional information."

The Indians indicated that the 28-year-old Herrmann suffered the injury during his Cactus League appearance on Monday, when he allowed four runs on five hits in one inning against the A's.

Herrmann was among a handful of arms in the mix for jobs in the Tribe's bullpen. Closer Chris Perez, setup man Vinnie Pestano and sidearmer Joe Smith entered spring as the only perceived locks in the relief corps. Other candidates for bullpen roles include Matt Albers, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, Matt Capps, Nick Hagadone, Scott Barnes, Rich Hill and David Huff.

Last season, Herrmann posted a 2.33 ERA with 14 strikeouts and four walks in 19 1/3 innings (15 appearances) for the Indians. At Triple-A Columbus last year, he went 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA in 42 games, during which he compiled 58 strikeouts against 15 walks in 52 2/3 innings.

In parts of three seasons, Herrmann has gone 4-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 95 career big league games with the Indians.