Vinnie Pestano will continue to receive on-the-job training to become a closer as long as Chris Perez is sidelined with a shoulder ailment.

That sort of assignment would have been expected of Pestano until last weekend, when he gave up four runs in the eighth inning to take the loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Not long before that, Pestano had been shut down briefly with a sore elbow and during his outing in Boston, it was noted with some alarm that his fastball was traveling at the pedestrian rate of 88 miles per hour.

Pestano finished the Indians’ 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night, but gave up a leadoff home run before retiring the side.

His velocity improved to 90-91, but that still is a couple of miles per hour short of his norm.

“I think he’s getting better,” Indians manager Terry Fran­cona said Thursday. “Each time he throws, I think he’s getting closer to being Vinnie. He has a little ways to go, but he’s such a competitor that he can get people out right now.”

In other words, velocity isn’t everything.