DETROIT -- Indians manager Terry Francona continues to stretch the limits of traditional thinking for a Major League bullpen. Prior to Friday's game in Detroit, Cleveland recalled right-hander C.C. Lee from Triple-A Columbus.
The Tribe now has 10 relief arms available out of the 'pen.
"Tito would have 25 relievers if he could," Indians sarter Corey Kluber joked. "No, he's so good at manipulating it throughout a game that it's almost like the more guys he has, the more different ways he can go about it."
With Lee in the fold, the Indians are simply protecting themselves with a doubleheader looming on Saturday. Cleveland will also have transactions coming up on Monday and Tuesday in order to recall lefty starter T.J. House from the Minors and add another rotation member to the mix.
In the meantime, Francona will enjoy the flexibility that he has in the bullpen.
"We have a number of guys that are in the top 10 in appearances, but not in innings," Francona said. "So, we kind of monitored that [in the first half], and part of it was by carrying extra relievers. I think it's twofold. One, I think it helps you win. And the other one, I think it helps [give certain guys rest]."
Entering the second half, the Indians were tied with the Red Sox and A's for the most pitchers (four) with at least 40 relief appearances. Cody Allen and Marc Rzepczynski actually are tied for the American League lead with 46 appearances apiece, while Bryan Shaw is right behind them with 45 games. John Axford has made 41 apperances for the Tribe.
As Francona noted, though, while Allen leads the league in appearances, his team-high 41 2/3 relief innings rank him 17th in the AL in that category.
Lee (4.76 ERA in 13 big league outings this year) was promoted to fill the roster spot of starter Zach McAllister, who was optioned to Columbus on Tuesday. McAllister will be recalled as the 26th player on Cleveland's roster to start against the Tigers in the second game of Saturday's twin bill.