It has only been two seasons since Cleveland Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano was considered to be one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball, but after some on-field struggles and injury issues, Pestano is headed to triple-A Columbus.
Indians have optioned RHP Vinnie Pestano to AAA Columbus. RHP CC Lee is back with Cleveland. More soon on http://t.co/SSqu0ZvdJZ.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 9, 2014
Jordan Bastian reports that Pestano has been optioned to AAA (to be replaced by CC Lee), and this one is jarring to anyone who remembers how dominant the 29-year-old Pestano was at one point. In 2011, Pestano struck out batters at an absurd clip (12.19 K/9) in route to a 2.32 ERA over 62 innings, and he followed that up with a very nice season (9.77 K/9, 2.57 ERA) in 2012 while setting up for Chris Perez in Cleveland.
However, things have gone south in a hurry for Pestano, as he visibly lost some of his dominant stuff on the way to a 4.08 ERA (5.03 FIP) in 2013, and he has been battered to the tune of 6 runs in just 3 appearances (2.2 innings) thus far in 2014. The culprit seems to be centered around reports of diminished velocity, but whatever the issue is, it was significant enough to send a highly pedigreed pitcher back to the Minor Leagues at age 29.