The Indians made a move on Friday to add a familiar face to their bullpen.
That’s right, Indians fans. Vinnie Pestano has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus in a move to add bullpen depth to a unit that has been severely overworked the past few weeks.
In a corresponding move, starter Zach McAllister has been optioned to Columbus.
This might not be a permanent promotion for Pestano (as a result of scheduling, the Indians may not need a fifth starter for a few days, explaining McAllister’s demotion), but he certainly deserved another chance with the Indians.
Pestano struggled mightily in a brief tour of duty in Cleveland earlier this season, allowing 6 runs (4 earned) runs in 2 2/3 innings. However, he rebounded with a masterful 1.78 ERA (1.75 FIP) in 25 1/3 innings with Columbus. His peripherals also improved, as Pestano posted a solid K/BB ratio of 4.57 for the Clippers as well.
Our own Steve Kinsella recently mentioned Pestano’s dominance at Columbus, and speculated of a possible return for him to Cleveland in the near future. It appears Steve was right (which is nothing new, if you’ve read his work), as Pestano now finds himself back where he originally began this season.
Once known as one of the game’s best late-inning relievers, the 29-year old Pestano began to struggle in 2013 as his fastball velocity suddenly declined. After consistently sitting at about 93 mph at the beginning of his major league career, Pestano’s fastball has steadily lost a few ticks each year each year since then, culminating in just an average velocity of 88.9 mph this season.
It’s clear that Pestano had to make adjustments, which is what he’s been doing while at Columbus.
Here’s an interview of Pestano talking before a recent game about the work he’s been putting in with the Clippers, especially pitching coach Tony Arnold:
Pestano should be available tonight as the Indians host the Detroit Tigers in a pivotal AL Central matchup. Corey Kluber (6-4, 3.35 ERA) will be on the mound for the Tribe, and he will be opposed by Detroit’s Rick Porcello (8-4, 4.03). First pitch is at 7:05 eastern time.