Tribe adds bullpen arms

Mark Shapiro and the Indians made the first steps in trying to solve last season’s bullpen woes by signing veteran relievers Roberto Hernandez and lefty Aaron Fultz to one year contracts Saturday.

With the Pirates and Mets in ’06, Hernandez went 0-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 68 appearances during the regular season.

“He’s a guy that can handle both good and bad outings,” Shapiro said. “He’s been a consistent performer throughout his career. He has strong character, he’s a professional. If things do get bumpy, he can handle it and provide veteran leadership to the guys on our staff.”

“He’s (Fultz) coming off an ’06 season in Philadelphia, where he went 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA in 66 appearances, which tied a career-high. He was tough on lefties, holding them to a .212 average.

“He’s a guy that has been consistently effective against left-handers,” Shapiro said. “I’m sure we’ll use him for more than just left-handed hitters, but our ability to get left-handed hitters out has been a problem.”

Although he rising in age, Hernandez should provide quality late inning relief for a Tribe bullpen that was a disaster last season. He has a very solid 3.32 career ERA and has postseason experience if the Indians are to somehow make it to that point next season.

They aren’t superstars, but if they can settle into the proper role, Fultz and Hernandez could prove to be very nice signings for the Tribe.

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