Apr 5, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano (52) pitches during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians send reliever Vinnie Pestano to triple-A

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.

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.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Vinnie Pestano

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