CLEVELAND — Indians ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber continues to draw nearer to a return to the rotation in Cleveland.

Kluber threw 60 pitches in four innings in a rehab assignment with the RubberDucks on Tuesday, striking out six and allowing one run on two hits and a walk. It was his biggest workload to date as he rehabs from a fractured ulna bone in his right arm, and the reports are that he came out of it feeling good.

"Very good, from him and the people that watched him," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He threw four innings, 60 pitches. Velocity starting to tick up a bit. And by all accounts, he looked kind of like Kluber."

Kluber is next slated to pitch in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Sunday. Considering he's already lengthened out to 60 pitches with another outing scheduled for Sunday, barring a setback, he is getting close to be activated off the injured list.

Carlos Carrasco isn't necessarily throwing as part of program for his return, but he is increasing his volume. Carrasco threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and is next slated to throw a simulated game to minor leaguers Friday in Cleveland. After that, he will undergo a re-evaluation.

 

Movin' on up

The Indians promoted left-handed pitcher Logan Allen and optioned Josh Smith to Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.

Acquired in the three-team deal involving Trevor Bauer, Allen slid into the No. 3 spot in the Indians' top prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. He's also listed as the No. 97-ranked prospect in baseball.

Smith was needed for 49 pitches in Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Allen is viewed long term as a starting pitcher and a potential piece of the future rotation, but for now he'll provide some additional pitching depth.

"Obviously, your first goal for the day is to win the game and then directly after that is to keep your bullpen healthy so they can be productive," Francona said. "We didn’t trade for Logan to be a reliever. But if there’s a game — I hope it’s not today — if there’s a game where we’re behind, he has the ability to finish the game and we can keep our bullpen intact."

As it turned out, Allen was needed in the Indians' 5-1 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday, and he delivered 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three.

President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti noted the Indians had been closely following Allen for quite some time before the deal that brought him to Cleveland. He remains a top-100 prospect, although he's had a rough 2019 season, posting a 6.75 ERA in 25 1/3 innings at the major-league level and a combined 5.48 ERA at Triple-A. In his two starts with Triple-A Columbus, he gave up six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

 

Citizenship

The Indians announced on Wednesday that outfielder Yasiel Puig has earned his U.S. citizenship.

A native of Cuba, Puig is the fourth Indians player to earn his U.S. citizenship this season, joining first baseman Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic), former designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic) and reliever Oliver Perez (Mexico).

 

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.