Anderson to make spot start Monday

Anderson to make spot start Monday

BOSTON -- In a perfect world, the Indians would let Cody Anderson remain with Triple-A Columbus to sort through his struggles on the mound. With a doubleheader looming on Monday, Cleveland's current circumstances just did not align with the ideal scenario.

Prior to Saturday's game against the Red Sox, Indians manager Terry Francona announced that Anderson would be promoted from Triple-A Columbus to start the second game in Monday's twin bill against the White Sox. Rookie righty Mike Clevinger, who recently replaced Anderson in the rotation, will the take ball in the first game.

Anderson will make the start as the Tribe's 26th man on the roster, and he will return to Columbus after the game.

"Cody will start Game 2 and then go back," Francona said. "It's a little peculiar -- a guy that just got sent down -- but I also think it can be helpful. One, if he pitches good, it can help us win. ... Hopefully it'll help us win and it'll be good for him."

Anderson was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, following a rough start against the Reds on Monday. In that performance, the big righty gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings of a no-decision. On the season, Anderson is 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA, allowing 29 runs on 51 hits (including 10 home runs) in 32 2/3 innings.

It has been a drastic contrast to last season, when Anderson went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts as a rookie for Cleveland. That showing, combined with a great offseason and solid Spring Training, helped Anderson earn the No. 4 job in the rotation to start this season. Unfortunately for the Tribe, Anderson allowed five or more runs in four of his six starts and lasted fewer than five innings in three of his starts.

"We've all kind of tried to figure that out," said Francona, when asked what was behind Anderson's struggles. "A lot of times, it's not just one thing. It's probably some inconsistencies in a number of areas. I think the good news is he's a really hard worker and his stuff is good. We've just got to let him get straightened out, and he will."

Cleveland's only other alternatives from the 40-man roster were lefties TJ House, Ryan Merritt and Shawn Morimando.

House, who had stints with the Indians in each of the past two years, has a 5.45 ERA with nearly as many walks (24) as strikeouts (26) at Triple-A this year. In his most recent outing, House was ejected after only 2 2/3 innings. The lefty has given up 10 earned runs in his past 13 innings (four games). Merritt has a 2.94 ERA in 52 innings at Triple-A, while Morimando has gone 7-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 48 innings for Double-A Akron.

Cleveland decided to stick with Anderson for the spot start.

"It can maybe really jump-start him," Francona said, "and if it doesn't go well, he can start his progression [in the Minors]."

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.