Francona's steady hand guides strong 'pen

Francona's steady hand guides strong 'pen

DETROIT -- Confidence and consistency are important parts of baseball. Indians manager Terry Francona has seen both of those things feed off each other when it comes to his bullpen.

Francona likes to use all eight of his relievers on a consistent basis because he has a high amount of confidence in them. It has led to his corps ranking in the top five among American League bullpens in ERA.

"The one thing I don't ever want to do is kind of have 'the flavor of the week,'" Francona said. "I think that can put your bullpen in turmoil. So unless there really needs to be a move made, I try to stay somewhat consistent."

A centerpiece of the Indians' rotation has been Dan Otero, who has allowed just one earned run over nine appearances in June.

"Otero's been really big for us, because we've used him everywhere, and he's gotten outs. Everybody has different styles. So it's worked pretty well.

Francona said he likes to talk with his relievers a lot and remain transparent with them.

"They know we're going to pitch who we think would be best," he said, "and sometimes it might be early in the game, if the game's going to swing early, we don't want to wait around."

The bullpen's recent success has been a good complement to a starting rotation that has registered a Major League-low ERA (2.63) in the month of June.

Kyle Beery is a reporter for based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.