Indians option Vinnie Pestano to Columbus, call up C.C. Lee

Jason Miller

After last night, this seemed inevitable.

The Cleveland Indians have sent reliever Vinnie Pestano to Triple-A Columbus and called up C.C. Lee to take his spot on the 25-man roster.

Pestano was excellent in 2011 and 2012, but he suffered an elbow injury shortly before the 2013 season began, and he's never been the same since then. He'd given up 8 hits while recording just 8 out so far this season, and was hit hard last night, nearly blowing (with some help from a Nick Swisher error) an 8-2 lead. His velocity is not what it used to be, and it's unclear whether that will rebound, and/or if he'll be able to turn into an effective pitcher with his current stuff.

Lee is a 26-year-old right-hander. If you're new around here, save your breath on the observation that his name is a combination of former Tribe aces CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, as someone else beat you to it 4 or 5 years ago. Lee pitched 4.1 innings for the Indians last season, but has spent most of the last 3 seasons in Columbus ( though he missed most of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery), where he's put up a 2.39 ERA, with an impressive 11.8 K/9 against just 2.8 BB/9.

It remains to be seen whether Francona will stick with the 8-man bullpen once Michael Bourn and Jason Giambi have both returned from injuries (Bourn could be back this weekend, Giambi might be ready a week or two after that).

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