KANSAS CITY -- The Indians' beleaguered bullpen took another hit Friday, as the Tribe put right-hander Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with a strain in a muscle on the right side of his back. Right-hander Brian Slocum has been called up from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Betancourt on the active roster. Betancourt suffered the injury in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 18-9 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. An MRI was performed Thursday morning in Baltimore. Because the injury would substantially hinder Betancourt's throwing motion, a DL trip was deemed necessary.
In a team-high eight relief appearances this season, Betancourt has gone 0-0 with a 6.43 ERA. This is his third career stint on the DL, and the move is retroactive to April 20. On Thursday, the Indians placed right-hander Matt Miller, who was also injured in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game, on the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow. Left-handed ace C.C. Sabathia and right-handed reliever Fernando Cabrera are also on the DL. This will be the 25-year-old Slocum's first stint in the big leagues. He has gone 0-0 with a save and a 1.93 ERA in five appearances for the Bisons. A second-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Slocum was converted to the relief role at the end of 2005 before heading off to the Arizona Fall League, where he went 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 appearances.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.