Anderson likely to join Tribe's roster Saturday

Right-hander slated to start the middle game against Kansas City

Anderson likely to join Tribe's roster Saturday

CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Cody Anderson was back with the Indians on Friday afternoon, going through a workout in preparation for his upcoming start against the Royals on Saturday, when he is expected to officially be added to the Major League roster.

Before Anderson can be recalled from Triple-A Columbus for Saturday's game, the Indians will need to sort out how to go about adding him back to the mix. That will present a challenging decision for manager Terry Francona and the front office.

"Yeah, it will," Francona said before Friday's game against Kansas City. "We're thrilled about putting Cody back in there, but yeah."

Following a rough four-start stretch to open his season, Anderson was optioned to Columbus on April 27 to work on a flaw in his mechanics. Due to a couple of team off-days, Cleveland was able to operate with a four-man rotation in Anderson's absence, and has carried an eight-man bullpen during that time period.

If the Indians were to reduce their bullpen to a traditional seven-man staff to add Anderson, Kyle Crockett would be vulnerable due to having Minor League options. He is currently the only left-hander within the relief corps. Rookie outfielder Tyler Naquin has options as well, but he carried a .315 average and .753 OPS into Friday's action and gives the team a sound defensive option for center field.

Should Cleveland go in another direction, the team might need to designate a player for assignment to put Anderson on the active roster.

Anderson, 25, went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts in his rookie campaign last year, but he began this season with a 7.65 ERA through four outings. Before being sent to Triple-A, Anderson had given up 15 runs on 28 hits in 14 innings in his three most recent turns for the Tribe. During his last start on April 26 in Minnesota, Anderson had been closing off too much with his stride in his delivery.

During a start for Columbus on Sunday, Anderson concentrated on the issue in an outing that lasted 5 2/3 innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and ended with six strikeouts against three walks, but Anderson said it took a few innings to get a better feel for the mechanical adjustment.

"You never want to get sent down," Anderson said. "But still, to have them have confidence in me to go down and figure it out in one start, that's pretty special. I'm going to keep doing everything I can to fix what needs to be fixed."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.