Indians promote Manship, Crockett to aid 'pen

Marcum designated for assignment, Walters optioned, Chacin released

Indians promote Manship, Crockett to aid 'pen

CLEVELAND -- The Indians added a pair of relievers to their bullpen on Thursday, helping to reinforce a pitching staff that was pushed to its limits one night earlier.

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Prior to Thursday's game against the Cubs, Cleveland selected the contract of right-hander Jeff Manship from Triple-A Columbus and recalled lefty Kyle Crockett from the same affiliate. The Indians optioned utility man Zach Walters to Triple-A and designated right-hander Shaun Marcum for assignment to clear two spots on the active roster.

"You kind of know when you have a night like [Thursday], there's potential for that," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the transactions. "Losing the game is tough, but when you have to make roster moves on top of it, it doesn't help."

By designating Marcum, Cleveland also opened a spot on its 40-man roster in order to add Manship. The Indians now have 10 days to trade or release Marcum, or reassign him to the Minor Leagues if he clears waivers and accepts an outright assignment.

"He'll go through that process and see if anyone claims him," Francona said. "For his sake, I hope he does [get claimed], but I honestly hope he stays with us. I think there are so many things we liked about him, and we just got put in a predicament."

The Indians also announced that Triple-A right-hander Jhoulys Chacin was released after opting out of his contract. With lefty TJ House (left shoulder) on the Minor League disabled list, that leaves right-hander Cody Anderson (2.33 ERA in three starts at Triple-A), righty Toru Murata (2.93 ERA in 13 games) and lefty Michael Roth (3.28 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts) as the leading candidates to start on Sunday for Cleveland.

Francona said the team would announce its starter for Sunday's game on Friday, noting that Trevor Bauer would have his next scheduled start pushed back to Monday against the Tigers.

In Wednesday's 17-0 loss to Chicago, Marcum allowed six runs in only two innings, throwing Cleveland's bullpen into early duty. In the ninth inning, Francona used outfielders Ryan Raburn and David Murphy as pitchers in order to stay away from the Tribe's last remaining reliever, Zach McAllister.

The 30-year-old Manship -- who was signed to a Minor League contract in December -- turned in a 1.99 ERA with 31 strikeouts, nine walks and a .219 opponents's average in 31 2/3 innings with Columbus this season. Manship has previous big league experience with the Twins (2009-12), Rockies ('13) and Phillies ('14).

Crockett, 23, began this season in Cleveland's Opening Day bullpen and also posted a 1.80 ERA in 43 games with the Tribe last year. Since being optioned to Triple-A on April 11, the lefty has turned in a 5.91 ERA in 21 appearances. Crockett posted a 2.25 ERA after May 1 for the Clippers.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.