DETROIT -- The bullpen will be fortified when the Indians make their September callups.
Manager Terry Francona said Saturday that eight pitchers will join the team when rosters can be expanded to 40. Among them Vinnie Pestano, sent down earlier this season, and Josh Tomlin, who continues to return from Tommy John Surgery at lightning speed.
The Indians will call people up in waves the next three days.
Sunday relief pitchers Preston Guilmet, Nick Hagadone and Blake Wood will report from AAA Columbus. Also joining the team will be veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach, a former Indian who signed a minor league deal a few days ago, and infielder Jose Ramirez, who played at Akron and will backup at all infield spots.
Monday, lefty Clay Rapada joins the team from Columbus, and Tuesday Pestano, Tomlin, CC Lee and Carlos Carrasco add to the bullpen.
Carrasco was sent down Saturday to make room for newly acquired bat Jason Kubel, but it was a temporary move. Sept. 3 is the soonest he can return, and he will.
The moves are being in part for developmental reasons -- Francona said the team hopes Lee can be in the bullpen next season and the Indians believe he’d benefit from a few appearances this season.
But they are mainly being done to help the team win in September. The glut of relievers gives Francona bullpen flexibility, and helps cover for the pitch limit of Danny Salazar.
Ramirez can pinch-run, and Shoppach will mean Francona won’t have to hesitate to pinch-hit a catcher.
The bullpen could be crowded, but Francona said he’ll never complain about that.
“If that’s the way we need to win, that’s the way we need to win,” Francona said.