BALTIMORE: General Manager Chris Antonetti and his lieutenants worked the system to get the Indians another reliever without disrupting the roster for the long term.
T.J. House, a career starter, was summoned from Triple-A Columbus because he can add length to the bullpen. To make room for him on the roster, Carlos Carrasco was optioned to Triple-A.
But why would the Tribe send Carrasco to the Clippers?
Under terms of the new basic agreement, teams can add a 26th player for doubleheaders. The Indians have one coming up against the White Sox in Chicago on Friday.
According to the new and old rules, Carrasco has to remain in the minors for 10 days once he is optioned, unless he comes back to replace an injured player or is designated as the 26th man for a doubleheader.
That’s what he will do to make his regularly scheduled start in one of the games Friday. After that, he will be optioned back to the Clippers until he finishes his 10-day stay. When that is out of the way, he will be recalled without missing a start.
“If he is the 26th man, we can option him back and he will make every start,” manager Terry Francona said Monday.
House, 23, began the season with the Aeros and was 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA before being promoted to Columbus. He has been up and down for the Clippers, compiling a 1-7 record and 5.37 ERA in 11 starts.
“We got him here for length,” Francona said. “Tomorrow is his day to pitch, so he can be stretched out if we need him. But this is not his time to stay [long term]. He knows that.”
House has never pitched out of the bullpen, but he wants everyone to know that he isn’t insulted by the change in roles.
When it was pointed out that the least senior reliever is responsible for carrying a backpack [usually purple or pink] filled with allegedly healthy treats to the bullpen, House said, “I will carry it with pride. I’ll wear pink [high] heels if I have to. Do you know how many guys would like to be doing this?”
This is House’s first trip to the majors, and he was genuinely surprised when he was told to report to the Tribe.
“I was called into the [Columbus] manager’s office and thought I was in trouble,” he said. “That’s the way he made it out to be. I waited for a long time to hear those words. It was kind of a shock.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.