August 30, 2014

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Indians notes: Reliever Vinnie Pestano fighting for big league life

Vinnie Pestano

Vinnie Pestano

CLEVELAND — Vinnie Pestano said he felt better Saturday against the Twins than he has since the start of spring training. The results said otherwise.

Pestano, who is trying to keep his roster spot with the impending activation of center fielder Michael Bourn, allowed two runs in the ninth inning of a 7-3 loss to Minnesota.
It was the right-hander’s second poor outing in two appearances this year.

“I felt really good (Saturday), which is probably the most discouraging thing because the results weren’t there,” said Pestano, who allowed a run on two hits in one inning of his season debut Wednesday against Oakland. “It’s probably the best I’ve felt since I started playing catch.

“These opportunities right now are almost now more pressure on me than trying to get a hold in the eighth or seventh inning because I’m pitching for my livelihood right now. We’ve got a lot of guys in the pen.”

Pestano appeared to have regained his form this spring, winning a spot on the Opening Day roster with an impressive exhibition performance. But he has started slowly since the games began to count.

“It’s one of those things where you’ve just gotta stick with it,” he said. “(Saturday) was the most comfortable and the most I felt like myself in a very long time. I can’t be discouraged by one outing. I’ve gotta keep going out there and taking my chances.”

Pestano hasn’t been as crisp as the Indians have seen him in the past, and his velocity has been hovering around 90 mph.

“I feel strong and I’m healthy,” Pestano said. “Whatever the (radar) board says, I know it’s going to improve with the more comfortable I get.

“I’ve just gotta make sure that I’m maximizing my opportunities and I haven’t been doing that so far. So it’s one of those things where I gotta make that adjustment.”

Bourny bit
Bourn (left hamstring strain) went 1-for-3 Saturday as the designated hitter in Triple-A Columbus’ 4-0 loss to Indianapolis in the first game of a doubleheader.

Bourn, who was in Cleveland’s clubhouse prior to Sunday’s series finale with Minnesota, is expected to make two or three more rehab appearances — including seven innings at Columbus today — before likely being activated Thursday.

Bourn will most likely take the roster spot of a relief pitcher. The Indians have eight pitchers in the bullpen.

The Duke
The Indians made a minor league trade Sunday, acquiring right-hander Duke von Schamann from the Dodgers for left-hander Colt Hynes.

Von Schamann, 22, made one start for Los Angeles’ Double-A affiliate this season after spending last year at the Single-A and Double-A levels for the Dodgers, who drafted him in the 15th round in 2012.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound von Schamann, who is the son of former Miami Dolphins kicker Uwe, has been assigned to Double-A Akron.

Hynes, 28, was acquired from the Padres for cash this offseason and then designated for assignment at the end of spring training.

Next up
The Indians continue their home-opening stand with a three-game interleague series against the Padres that begins tonight at 7:05.

Corey Kluber (0-1, 13.50 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing LHP Robbie Erlin (0-0, 0.00), while Zach McAllister (0-0, 6.75) goes for the Indians on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) against RHP Tyson Ross (0-1, 5.40).

Danny Salazar (0-0, 3.18) starts the series finale for the Indians on Wednesday (12:05 p.m.), while San Diego counters with LHP Eric Stults (0-1, 11.25).

The early interleague series will be the first between the teams since 2008.

Roundin’ third

  • The Indians have 16 players on the current 25-man roster under their control through the 2016 season.
  • Cleveland has scored in the ninth inning in four of its first six games.
  • Justin Masterson is 3-6 with a 4.67 ERA in 17 career starts against the Twins.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.

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