CLEVELAND -- The Indians purchased the contract of outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands on Friday morning, giving them a more traditional four-man bench and a right-handed bat in preparation for a run of left-handed pitchers the team is soon to face.
The Indians and their lefty-heavy lineup were blanked by Houston southpaw Dallas Keuchel on Opening Day, and, beginning Saturday, will face four consecutive lefties -- Detroit's David Price and Kyle Lobstein, followed by Chicago's Jose Quintana and John Danks.
"After the next couple day's starts, we really don't need a fifth starter, so we'll have an extra arm in the bullpen," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And we're facing a bunch of left-handers in the next couple weeks, so having the extra position player -- especially a right-handed hitter -- can help us."
The team optioned right-handed relief pitcher Austin Adams to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Sands. In an unrelated move, right-handed starting pitcher Josh Tomlin was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, as he rehabs from shoulder surgery.
Sands batted .304 (14-for-46) with two home runs and seven RBIs in 22 games for the Indians this spring. He signed with Cleveland as a Minor League free agent in December. The 27-year-old has played in 82 big league games for the Rays and the Dodgers, and has a career .689 OPS.
"He had a good spring," Francona said. "He came in and he had that [season-ending wrist surgery in 2014] that was taken care of before, and there was some thought that he might not really be ready. But he did such a good job that he was more ready. I think what opened our eye was -- because we knew he could swing the bat -- was the way he handled himself defensively."
Adams had yet to appear for the Indians this season. Last year, the 28-year-old notched a 9.00 ERA in six outings with Cleveland but pitched well in Triple-A, to the tune of a 2.50 ERA in 54 innings.
August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.