Indians add Masterson, recall Lewis

Updated: August 1, 2009, 7:22 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Justin Masterson was added to the Cleveland Indians' roster Saturday, one day after he was acquired from the Boston Red Sox for catcher Victor Martinez.

Masterson will initially work out of the bullpen, although the team plans to convert him into a starter this year. The Beavercreek, Ohio, native went 3-3 with a 4.50 in 31 appearances for the Red Sox, and has not allowed an earned run in his last four.

Masterson was dealt to Cleveland on Friday, along with Class A pitchers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price, for the popular Martinez.

"Initially it was bittersweet," Masterson said of the deal that took him from the Red Sox, in playoff contention and 18 games over .500 to the rebuilding Indians, 17 under the break-even point.

"That's because I've been part of a great thing going on in Boston," Masterson said, "but I realize this a good opportunity to help the Cleveland Indians rebuild."

Masterson said he's more comfortable in a starting role since he's pitched out of a regular rotation most of his career, but he doesn't dislike relief work.

Manager Eric Wedge said the right-hander could get the call in his first day on the job should starter Jeremy Sowers run into trouble against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

"We'll work off what Jeremy does and hopefully any call will be late in the game," Wedge said. "I think it would take two or three outings from the bullpen to build up his arm strength for a spot in the rotation."

The Indians also recalled reliever Jensen Lewis from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday, where he had not allowed a run over his last 12 appearances. Lewis went 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA for Cleveland before being demoted after he ended last season as the team's closer.

"With Jensen, it's all about command and control," Wedge said. "He's not quite where we want him, but he's moving in the right direction."

In order to make room on the roster, Cleveland designated for assignment left-hander Mike Gosling and right-hander Winston Abreu. The team has 10 days to trade or release the pair of relievers.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press