Breslow Added to Indians’ Roster to Provide Bullpen Depth

Earlier in the month, the Indians brought 12-year veteran reliever Craig Breslow back to the organization on a minor league contract. On Saturday, the club officially added him to the 25- and 40-man rosters to help the relief staff with the loss of Andrew Miller.

In order to get Breslow on the active roster, the Indians needed to make a pair of roster moves. Left-hander Ryan Merritt, one day after a stellar start against the Kansas City Royals, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, recently acquired right-hander Diego Moreno was designated for assignment. Moreno had been pitching with the Columbus team after being acquired from Tampa Bay at the end of July.

Breslow started the season with the Minnesota Twins, but was released by the club on July 29 before signing a little over a week later with the Indians. It marked his return to the Cleveland organization after previously spending two months with the club back at the beginning of the 2008 season. Incidentally enough, it was the Twins who would claim him off of waivers from the Indians in May of that season.

The side-arming left-hander signed with the Twins in February and made the roster out of spring camp. He struggled throughout the season, however, going 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP over 31 innings in 30 games. He did pitch better against left-handers than right-handers, a trend that has continued at Columbus for the Clippers. He had made seven appearances for the club and had pitched extremely well in his last six after allowing two runs in an inning of work in his Columbus debut on August 9. In those last half dozen games, he worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out three, posting a .231 average with a 0.00 ERA.

He will provide the Indians with some additional depth in the bullpen from the left side while Miller rests and recovers from his re-aggravated knee injury. Breslow joins another Columbus recruit, Tyler Olson, as the second southpaw on the Indians relief staff.

Moreno, a 30-year-old right-hander out of Venezuela, had pitched well for the Indians’ Triple-A club since he was acquired in a waiver claim from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 29. In seven appearances, he was 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. He had allowed just one run on a solo home run over ten innings of work and had struck out eight while walking one and holding opposing hitters to a .171 batting average against.

Moreno has previously made four relief appearances for the Yankees in 2015 and worked in five games for the Rays this season.

Merritt is expected to rejoin the Indians roster sometime after rosters expand on September 1. The hole in the starting rotation that he filled with his start on Friday will be plugged by Josh Tomlin, who will be activated from the 10-day disabled list and rejoin the starting staff in time to start game three of the Indians’ coming series in New York against the Yankees on Wednesday.

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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