It took a while, but Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano has finally made it back to the big leagues. It could be his final try to rekindle the magic he had on the mound before falling on hard times last season.
The Indians made the roster move Friday to call up Pestano, sending starter Zach McAllister to triple-A Columbus due to the fact the Indians won’t need a fifth starter for awhile and could use another arm in the pen.
Pestano was at one-time one of the best setup men in the Majors, but last season things got so bad that the team sent him to triple-A Columbus after acquiring lefty Marc Rzepczynski from the St. Louis Cardinals to try and give the pen help as the team made a playoff run.
This season Pestano started the year with the Indians, but again fell on hard times and was sent to Columbus on April 9 after allowing six runs in just 2.2 innings. In Columbus he went 2-3 with a 1.78 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the Clippers. He threw well lately in Columbus, not allowing a run over his last 13 appearances (13.0IP, 7H, 2BB, 12K) dating back to May 18.
The Indians will use Pestano with caution at the big league level, but they are hoping he can get back some of the magic that saw him just two years ago throw in 70 games and help the team with a strong 2.76 ERA in going 3-3 with two saves.
If he can’t get back to where he was, it could be a very short stint with the Indians and possibly his last. The team has to figure out if they are willing to wait on the 29-year-old, or simply say enough is enough and move the franchise along without him.
Matt Loede has covered the Cleveland Indians for 20 years for National Networks like AP Radio, Metro Networks and other local and national stations. Follow him on twitter @mattloede.