As expected, the Cleveland Indians announced this evening that right-handed reliever Joba Chamberlain has been activated from the 15-day disabled list. In a corresponding move, the club has optioned starting pitcher Cody Anderson to Triple-A Columbus.
Chamberlain landed on the disabled list on May 23 (retroactive to May 22) with a left intercostal muscle strain. Monday was the first day that he was eligible to be activated, but he was delayed after the club announced that starter Danny Salazar was going to skip his scheduled start on Wednesday, moving Carlos Carrasco back to that start and forcing the team to need a spot starter for Tuesday night’s contest.
The 30-year-old righty Chamberlain worked in a 20-pitch simulated game on Saturday and came away unscathed. If he was still feeling good after the outing on Sunday, the club was hoping to forgo any minor league rehab assignments.
“Everything went well,” he was quoted on Cleveland.com after the session. “Hopefully, our innings don’t last that long, but everything went well. I threw all my pitches to both sides of the plate.”
Prior to his injury, he had been one of the better arms in the Indians bullpen. His worst outing was his last, as he faced just four batters in the seventh inning of a loss in Boston to the Red Sox. Entering with the bases loaded and one out, he got a fielder’s choice grounder to third baseman Juan Uribe, who came home with the throw with the Indians trailing in the 4-0 game, rather than attempt the potential inning ending double play with a catcher running down the first base line. Chamberlain followed the play with a bases loaded walk and a grand slam to Mookie Betts. A walk to Dustin Pedroia ended his afternoon.
Chamberlain had been charged with runs just two other times in 14 total appearances this season – he allowed a run on two hits in a 9-4 win over Detroit on May 5 and an unearned run in a 7-1 loss in Houston on May 9.
In 14 innings total this season in those 14 games, he has allowed just six hits, walked six, and allowed four runs (three earned) for a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. His splits have been promising, as he has limited left-handers to just two hits in 18 at bats (.111) with six strikeouts and four walks, while right-handers have four hits in 27 at bats (.148), including nine strikeouts and two walks, but all four hits have been for extra bases (three doubles and a homer).
After a solid start for the Indians on May 23 in the back end of a doubleheader in Chicago and a pair of promising outings at Triple-A with the Clippers, Anderson was victimized by the long ball and a mental error by his shortstop in a spot start on Tuesday night in Seattle.
Anderson was charged with six runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings as the Tribe went on to lose by a 7-1 final. He allowed his eleventh homer this season in just nine outings, as the two-run shot by Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz gave Seattle a 2-0 first inning lead and was more than enough offense for the night’s starter, Wade Miley.
In the fourth inning, things took a bad turn for the worse when shortstop Francisco Lindor made a rare mental error on a grounder that could have ended the inning. After some indecisiveness on a throw to first, then second, then back to first, the inning stayed alive and the Mariners would plate four more runs on a pair of two-out, two-run extra base hits and the blow out was on.
He will presumably work in the Columbus rotation while waiting for his next call back to the Cleveland 25-man roster.
Austin Adams had been sent out earlier in the day on Tuesday to make room for Anderson and his spot start. The 29-year-old right-hander reliever had appeared in seven games this season, earning a 2.35 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in seven and two-thirds innings of work. He had allowed just two runs this season (on solo home runs on May 30 and June 2) and had a dozen strikeouts in his limited sample size on the mound. All three of his walks came in his second appearance of the season, one day after his longest outing in his debut game on May 22.
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