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Vizcaino to join Tribe 'pen this week

Vizcaino to join Tribe 'pen this week

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CLEVELAND -- It appears Luis Vizcaino will officially become a member of the Indians' big league bullpen early this week.

Vizcaino threw a simulated session against Tribe hitters Sunday morning at Progressive Field. He also threw a bullpen session in front of the Tribe's coaches on Friday.

The Indians had originally planned to sign Vizcaino to a Minor League deal and send him to Triple-A Columbus to get his arm back in game shape. The free agent right-hander hasn't appeared in a game since April 21, shortly before the Cubs designated him for assignment and released him.

But the pregame sessions this weekend apparently have given the Indians reason to believe Vizcaino is ready to help the team now. As he left Progressive Field after Sunday morning's activity, Vizcaino said the Indians told him he'll be with the Major League club.

"I'll be here [Monday]," he said.

The Indians could make the move official Monday or possibly Tuesday, if they feel Vizcaino could use a day of rest after Sunday's simulation.

Either way, it appears someone's going to go so that Vizcaino can be added to the active roster. The Indians have no shortage of candidates. Right-hander Jensen Lewis (5.52 ERA) can be optioned to Columbus, as can left-hander Tony Sipp (3.60). Right-hander Masa Kobayashi (8.38) can only be optioned if he gives consent, but he's certainly a candidate to be released altogether. Kobayashi, a Japanese import, has been nothing short of a disappointment after signing a two-year, $6 million contract before the '08 season.

The Indians will be the 34-year-old Vizcaino's eighth big league team. In his 11-year career, he is 34-27 with a 4.31 ERA in 532 relief appearances.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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