Indians claim Breslow off waivers

Indians claim Breslow off waivers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Aaron Fultz's dismal spring performance might have inspired an Indians transaction on Sunday.

The Tribe claimed left-handed reliever Craig Breslow off outright waivers from the Red Sox and added him to the 40-man roster. Breslow is out of Minor League options, so the Indians will have to keep him on their big league club out of camp or expose him to waivers again.

Breslow, 27, went 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 49 games, including one start, for Triple-A Pawtucket last season. He struck out 73 batters and walked 25 in 68 2/3 innings pitched.

Breslow made his big league debut with Padres in 2005 and pitched for the Red Sox in 2006, going 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 appearances out of the Boston bullpen.

A Yale alum, Breslow will report to the Chain of Lakes facility on Monday.

What this means for Fultz remains to be seen. The Indians exercised Fultz's $1.5 million option for 2008 after he went 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 49 games last year.

But Fultz has had one of the rougher spring seasons of anyone on the Tribe roster. In 8 1/3 innings over seven appearances, he has put up an 11.88 ERA. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits on just 16 pitches against the Braves on March 12.

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Fultz also gave up four runs on five hits with three walks over two innings against the Indians' Double-A Akron club in a Minor League intrasquad game last week.

"I think his concern right now, with trying to locate the baseball, is he's trying to overcompensate a bit and trying to force the ball down," pitching coach Carl Willis said of Fultz last week. "It just appears that when he's been hit, it's been a case of the hitters really being able to see the baseball. His delivery's getting a little quick out on the front side, he's opening up a little soon, and they're seeing the ball before it leaves his hand."

The Indians have said they like the idea of having two lefties in the 'pen. Rafael Perez, of course, is one of them, and Fultz's contract seemed to guarantee he'd be the other. But Sunday's move is certainly an intriguing development.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.