Indians designate Joba, Gorzelanny

Clevinger, House promoted from Triple-A to boost pitching staff

Indians designate Joba, Gorzelanny

CLEVELAND -- In need of reinforcements for their pitching staff, the Indians were forced to make a difficult decision on Monday afternoon.

Prior to its game against the Tigers, Cleveland designated relievers Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment to make room on the roster for a pair of arms. Right-hander Mike Clevinger and lefty TJ House were recalled from Triple-A Columbus to help a staff that is still feeling the effects of Friday's 19-inning marathon with the Blue Jays.

"It's not something you look forward to, obviously," manager Terry Francona said of parting with Chamberlain and Gorzelanny. "It's kind of the fallout or the ramifications when you play a 19-inning game. There's always the possibility that things like that can happen when you don't have pitchers in the bullpen that have options, or things like that."

The Indians now have 10 days to trade or release Chamberlain and Gorzelanny, or reassign them to the Minor Leagues if they clear waivers.

Chamberlain has been pitching well in middle relief this season, but the veteran righty became collateral damage in the wake of the past few games, which taxed the relief corps. In 20 games this year, Chamberlain recorded a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings, during which he had 18 strikeouts, 11 walks and a .176 opponents' average (.616 OPS).

Gorzelanny allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning in Sunday's 17-1 loss to Toronto, accounting for all the runs he gave up in his seven relief appearances for the Tribe this season.

"I wouldn't be surprised if both of them get claimed," Francona said. "And I hope they do, for their sake. They deserve it."

House started for Cleveland in parts of the 2014-15 seasons. He began this year as a starter for Columbus but has worked out of the Clippers' bullpen since June 12. In seven relief outings at Triple-A, he had a 2.16 ERA, with six hits allowed in 8 1/3 innings. Overall, he has a 4.45 ERA in 19 games for Columbus this year.

"He was having a tough time this year as a starter," Francona said. "He went to the bullpen and, for whatever reason, things have really kicked up. So we wanted to get a look. And it's another guy that can give us some length, because he's been stretched out. We really wanted to try to be cognizant of that."

Clevinger recorded an 8.79 ERA in three starts for the Indians earlier this season in his first taste of the big leagues but has had much more success in Triple-A. He has gone 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA for the Clippers in 70 innings (13 starts), striking out 76 and walking 28.

"I think it can be good for him to pitch out of the bullpen for a week," Francona said. "And chances are probably better than they aren't that he'll go back to Triple-A and start after the All-Star break, because we don't want to lose that depth starter. But we also think that, one, he can help us in the bullpen, because he's certainly stretched out. And two, he might be a guy down the road that can help us win some games in the bullpen."

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.