TORONTO -- The Indians had been searching for innings for their relievers. Now, Cleveland is trying to solve a situation prompted by a long day for its bullpen.
During Friday's 2-1, 19-inning marathon win over the Blue Jays, the Indians used eight relievers, including right-hander Trevor Bauer. He was scheduled to start on Saturday in Toronto, but the unexpected five-inning outing he turned in has thrown a wrench into the Tribe's plans.
"We're working through that right now," Indians manager Terry Francona said after the win, which was the 14th in a row, a new franchise record. "We've got some things we've got to talk through. This isn't the easiest place [to get a pitcher] with a day game [on Saturday]."
The Indians look to have three choices: Pitch Corey Kluber (Sunday's probable starter) on short rest, promote a pitcher from the Minor Leagues, or try to utilize the bullpen for one game.
With Kluber's knack for pitching deep into games, having a bullpen day on Saturday is a possibility. While seven true relievers made an appearance in Friday's victory, Cleveland managed to stay away from closer Cody Allen after he worked in the previous three games. Bryan Shaw, who has now pitched in three straight games, would likely be the only reliever deemed unavailable on Saturday.
Prior to Friday, none of Cleveland's relievers -- besides Allen and Shaw -- had appeared in the previous three games. The rest of the group had not pitched since Monday or earlier, and relievers Dan Otero (13 pitches), Tom Gorzelanny (six) and Jeff Manship (16 pitches) were not overworked in Friday's win. In the 13 wins before Friday, Cleveland's bullpen had worked a combined 21 innings.
Helping matters on Friday was the fact that Bauer spun five shutout innings to close out the victory.
"When [Bauer] came in -- the day before he's supposed to start -- and logged those innings like he logged," said Indians starter Josh Tomlin, "those are huge innings. What he did today was pretty spectacular."
If Cleveland were to promote a pitcher from its 40-man roster, the most likely candidate would seem to be lefty Shawn Morimando. He last started on Monday and is 10-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A Akron this year. Two rostered starting pitchers (Cody Anderson and Ryan Merritt) are on the disabled list, while a third (Mike Clevinger) pitched on Wednesday.
"We'll figure it out here in a little bit," Francona said.
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.