Hunter comes off DL to bolster Tribe bullpen

Hunter comes off DL to bolster Tribe bullpen

PHILADELPHIA -- The Indians will get a bullpen boost going into their three-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The club announced before Friday's game that it activated reliever Tommy Hunter from the 15-day disabled list. Hunter had been on the shelf since Cleveland signed him, having undergone multiple core-muscle surgeries in the offseason.

"It's always good to be back in an environment like this," Hunter said prior to Friday's game. "You get caught up in the everyday routine of what you do [in the Majors] and you kind of take things for granted until it's taken away from you."

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Indians designated left-hander Ross Detwiler for assignment. In seven appearances this season, Detwiler had posted a 5.79 ERA over 4 2/3 innings.

The right-handed Hunter has been rehabbing with Triple-A Columbus since its season began. Hunter pitched in eight games while on his rehab assignment, allowing one run in nine innings.

"It was a good little time down there," Hunter said. "I got to talk a lot of baseball with a lot of the younger guys. They can teach you a few things every once in while."

In February, the Indians signed Hunter to a one-year contract worth $2 million, with an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. He spent the last four seasons with Baltimore, before he was traded to the Cubs in 2015. Hunter didn't post an ERA higher than 3.69 in the Orioles' bullpen, but he had a career-worst 5.74 mark after being acquired by Chicago.

Hunter saved 16 games between the Orioles and Cubs from 2013-2015, but Cody Allen has the closer role on lockdown for the Indians. Cleveland's relievers have a 4.10 ERA in 2016, 10th worst in the Majors.

"Once he starts to pitch and get some innings under his belt," manager Terry Francona said, "you'll see him pitch in games with leverage. He'll be another guy we can count on."

Thanks to a schedule that requires only four starters, Cleveland has an extra arm in the 'pen after sending down Cody Anderson on Thursday for Kyle Crockett. It's expected to stay that way until May 7, when the Indians will need a fifth starter again.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.