SEATTLE -- Scott Atchison was one of the Indians' most reliable relief arms a season ago, but the veteran right-hander has dealt with uncharacteristic struggles through two months this season. An injury issue is going to give the laboring reliever a chance to regroup.
On Thursday, Cleveland placed Atchison on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle, and promoted right-hander Austin Adams from Triple-A Columbus to take his place in the bullpen for the time being.
Atchison said he rolled his ankle during a conditioning drill about a month ago, but tried to pitch through the issue.
"I felt like I could pitch through it, get through it and do things," Atchison said. "Maybe I tried to be a little protective of it when I'm throwing and things, so we felt like this was a good time maybe to nip it in the bud now, instead of trying to fight through it the rest of the year and causing more problems. It's unfortunate."
Atchison set career highs in both appearances (70) and innings (72) last season, when the right-hander turned in a 2.75 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP for the Tribe. That showing convinced Cleveland to sign the veteran to a one-year extension with a club option for the 2016 campaign.
Through 19 games and 15 2/3 innings this year, though, Atchison has posted a 5.74 ERA with 9.8 hits allowed per nine innings on average. The bulk of the damage has come in Atchison's most recent 12 appearances, in which he has turned in a 9.31 ERA with a 1.107 opponents' OPS. In that span, which included 9 2/3 innings, the righty has given up 10 runs, 16 hits and four homers.
Atchison will be eligible to return to the Indians on June 12, when the team opens a three-game series in Detroit.
"I give him a lot of credit," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Guys, they want to pitch and they want to pitch through it, but I finally told him [on Wednesday], I said, 'Atch, you mean too much to us. We need to get you [right].'"
For the 28-year-old Adams, this will mark his fourth stint with Cleveland this season. The hard-throwing right-hander was in the Opening Day bullpen for the Indians and, following an initial option back to Triple-A on April 10, later had stops with the Tribe from April 12-18 and May 16-18. Adams had a 1.59 ERA in three games (5 2/3 innings) with Cleveland and a 5.40 ERA in 10 games at Triple-A this year.