Clevelinks: Cleveland Indians demote starter; bullpen notes

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Cleveland Indians designate Bruce Chen for assignment, promote Austin Adams

Yesterday saw the Cleveland Indians designated veteran southpaw Bruce Chen for assignment. Chen, who turns 38-years-old in a month, pitched just over six innings across two starts for the Tribe this season. Posting a 12.79 ERA over those two starts, although xFIP and SIERA like his work a bit better, predicting an ERA in the mid-fours.

No matter how one looks at it, Chen has struggled greatly this year. His 1.42 walks per nine innings is definitely a plus, but his 5.68 strikeouts per nine are less than ideal. His sinker, which he throws 43.1% of the time, has averaged a slow 83.7 miles per hour, which is exactly the mark at which he threw the pitch last year.

On the flip side of the transaction, righty Austin Adams returned to the big leagues after about a month in the minors. In a two-week timespan back in April, Adams saw himself be demoted and promoted a total of four times. The former fifth round pick has pitched a combined 11 innings for the Indians and the Triple-A Clippers this season. In that small sample size, he has struck out 11 batters and walked nine.

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Adams has struggled with command in the past, and back in 2011, when he was a member of the Double-A starting rotation, Adams posted a 3.77 ERA despite a walking over four batters per nine innings. Across twelve MLB innings, Adams has thrown half of his 156 pitches for a strike. One thing that Adams does bring to the table, however, is velocity, something clearly evidenced by his career average of 96 miles per hour on his heater.

The right-hander will join what has been a mediocre bullpen. Posting a 3.49 ERA, the bullpen looks good on the surface; however, that ERA is just the 14th best in baseball. Digging deeper reveals an opponent average that is 11th worst in the majors and an 8th worst WHIP.

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Next: Chen Chased Early as Tribe Trounces Rangers

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