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Indians demote former stud setup man Vinnie Pestano to Triple-A

Vinnie Pestano

Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano throws against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Cleveland won 3-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

AP

Not so long ago Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano was one of the best relievers in baseball, throwing 132 innings with a 2.45 ERA and 160 strikeouts between 2011 and 2012, but he struggled with elbow problems last season and is now headed back to the minors at age 29.

Pestano allowed six runs in three appearances to begin this season and his fastball averaged just 88.7 miles per hour, compared to a career average of 92.0 mph. Clearly something still isn’t right with his arm, but he’ll go to Triple-A instead of the disabled list.

Cody Allen has taken over for Pestano as the Indians’ primary setup man for closer John Axford, but getting Pestano healthy and anywhere close to his old self would be a huge boost to Cleveland’s chances in the AL Central.

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