Yandy Diaz did just about everything that he could to capitalize on his opportunity when the Cleveland Indians called his name last week.
It wasn’t enough.
The Indians optioned the corner infielder and designated hitter back to Columbus on Tuesday afternoon to make room on the 25-man roster for starting pitcher Shane Bieber, who was formally recalled from Triple-A to start Tuesday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Diaz made the most of his chance to wear the Indians jersey again, but he was the odd man out on a crowded roster. When he was called up, it was expected that his stay would be temporary (as it was just before the All-Star break for catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia), but Diaz made good use of his extra playing time.
Diaz was thrust into the lineup in all four games that he was on the roster and impressed with a four-hit game in his season debut on Friday night in Texas against the Rangers. He scored twice and drove in two runs with three singles and a triple in six plate appearances.
He entered Saturday’s blowout 16-3 win as a defensive replacement late, but notched a single in his only trip to the plate. He went 1-for-4 on Sunday, striking out in a key opportunity late, and followed the series with a start in the cleanup spot on Monday, going 1-for-3 in the rain-shortened 7-0 loss in six innings to the Pirates with a single in his fourth straight game.
In his four-game sample size, he went 7-for-14 with six singles, a triple, three runs scored, and two runs batted in.
Bieber, the 23-year-old rookie right-hander, has been a positive and pleasant addition to the Indians rotation since making his big league debut on May 31. Cleveland has won six of his seven starts while he has posted a 5-1 record with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 43 1/3 innings of work.
He has been met by some resistance in his most recent starts, allowing four runs in all three of his July appearances after giving up just two total runs in three starts in June. His last time out, he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits against the New York Yankees in a win, walking a season-high two and striking out six in the 6-5 win on July 13.
To keep him fresh and on regular work, he made one appearance for the Clippers during the Indians’ All-Star break. He threw 50 pitches over three innings on July 19 against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Bieber is expected to remain in the Indians rotation moving forward, barring some sort of roster addition during the trade deadlines.
The Indians also announced on Tuesday that reliever Andrew Miller had been transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list (he still remains eligible to be activated at the end of the week) while the team has claimed outfielder Johnny Field off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and have optioned him to Triple-A Columbus.
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