Placed LHP Scott Lewis on the 15-Day Disabled List (left elbow)
Purchased the Contract of RHP Vinnie Chulk and Recalled him from Columbus (AAA)
I guess now we know why Lewis hasn't been as effective his last few starts:
"Hopefully it's not the ligament, but it's definitely the elbow," Lewis said. "It had kind of been bothering me the last few times out. From what I felt, it's not the same as when I tore my UCL."
At the time, he chalked up the pain to normal spring "dead arm," something would go away. If Eric Wedge hadn't taken him out of yesterday's game for the normal reason (ineffectiveness, pitch count), he probably would have had to leave due to injury:
"[Manager Eric] Wedge came out at the right time," Lewis said. "It was gradually getting tighter as the game went on. The last pitch I threw was when I really felt something. I didn't really want to throw another pitch, and I didn't want to call anybody out there, either."
Obviously you want your players to be competitors, but at the same time, if your elbow's hurting, you need to come out of the game immediately.
Lewis had an MRI on his elbow this morning, so we'll know shortly the extent of Lewis' injury.
The Indians will need to make a decision on who will make what would have been Lewis' start this Wednesday. For this start, the Indians will probably go with whoever's on normal rest, and not necessary who's next on their depth chart. 40-man roster considerations also come into play, as the Indians now have a full 40-man roster, and can't bring up a non-roster guy like Kirk Saarloos without designating someone on the roster for assignment. Unless the Lewis injury is serious enough to warrant placing him on the 60-day DL, and I don't want to think of that. Sowers and Laffey are the two Columbus starters already on the 40-man roster, and Laffey pitched tonight, so Sowers, by process of elimination, is probably Wednesday's starter.
The Indians used up the last spot on the 40-roster by purchasing Chulk's contract, but they desperately needed some help in the bullpen, and Chulk was the most impressive reliever this spring. I don't think Chulk is just a stopgap callup, so someone else will be optioned out before Wednesday's game. I could see the Indians optioning out Zach Jackson before the game, optioning Sowers back to Columbus after the game, and recalling another reliever to keep eight pitchers in the bullpen.
Edit: Anthony Castrovince reports that there's no structural damage to Lewis' elbow, and that he should be able to recover with just rest. Good news.