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Cleveland Indians

Catching a shared experience

By Sheldon Published: August 17, 2009

For the rest of the season, the Indians will do without a No. 1 catcher, with duties divided among Kelly Shoppach, Wyatt Toregas and Chris Gimenez. ¶
   ""We'll probably keep it the same way,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""We want to keep looking at Kelly and Wyatt, and even though Chris isn't strictly catcher, I want to see him a few more times behind the plate.'' ¶
   Shoppach has been the team's backup catcher, but for half the season he started behind the plate almost as much as the regular, Victor Martinez, who was traded last month. But Shoppach was not promoted to the everyday job after struggling at the plate virtually the whole season. ¶
   Toregas is getting his first chance in the majors, and Gimenez is being groomed as the club's super utility player, who can play the outfield, first base and catcher. ¶
   So what happens next year? None of these catchers is likely to be elevated to the No. 1 job. It's possible that a trade for a catcher will be consummated over the winter. More likely, Lou Marson, acquired in the Cliff Lee deal, will get the first crack at being the regular. ¶
    LEWIS OFF DL -- Left-hander Scott Lewis has completed his rehab assignment, was taken off the 60-day disabled list and has been optioned to Columbus. ¶
   In a spring training competition primarily with Aaron Laffey, Lewis won the fifth spot in the rotation and started the home opener. But two days later, he was placed in the disabled list with a strained forearm. ¶
   He was not expected to miss more than a few weeks, but the pain persisted and Lewis finally was told he would have to learn to pitch with some soreness near his elbow and forearm. When Lewis pitched for Ohio State, he underwent Tommy John surgery. ¶
   OTHER STUFF -- Jhonny Peralta is in a  four-way tie for third with Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Mark Ellis for RBI in the American League after the All-Star break. All four players have driven in 24 runs. *elip The Tribe ranks seventh in the majors in runs with 592. The Angels lead with 666. *elip The Indians are 10-5 on the road in the second half. ¶
  FARM FACTS -- Carlos Carrasco (10-9, 4.83 ERA) gave up two runs and five hits in 72/3 innings, as Columbus beat Indianapolis 4-2. Lou Marson had two hits and Josh Barfield had two doubles. *elip Paulo Espino (5-6, 2.70 ERA) gave up one uneaerned run and two hits in six innings in Kinston's 7-2 win over Salem. -- Sheldon Ocker ¶

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