SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Indians plan on opening this season with eight relievers in their bullpen.
On Monday, Cleveland informed left-hander Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw that they will be among the team's relievers on the Opening Day roster. With both of those two pitchers in the fold, the Indians have taken a unique approach for the onset of the regular season.
"The versatility of Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn allows us to do that and carry the extra reliever," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti explained. "Those guys cover us at a lot of different positions."
Aviles and Raburn, who will begin this season on Cleveland's bench, offer positional flexibility that makes it possible for the Indians to play a man short in terms of position players. Aviles can handle second base, shortstop, third base and, if needed, the corner-outfield spots. Raburn has more experience in the outfield corners, and can play second and third base.
Cleveland's projected Opening Day bullpen will include closer Chris Perez, setup men Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith, right-handers Matt Albers and Cody Allen and lefty Rich Hill, along with Hagadone and Shaw.
"One of our strengths, we hope, is our bullpen," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Through eight Cactus League outings, Hagadone has turned in eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks. Shaw, who was acquired from the D-backs as part of a December trade, has piled up 14 strikeouts against just one walk with a 1.00 ERA through eight Cactus League appearances this spring.