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Cleveland Indians

Miller suffers minor setback

By Sheldon Published: February 28, 2009

Adam Miller missed his scheduled appearance Friday because of pain in his surgically repaired finger.

``He had a  little soreness in his finger,'' manager Eric Wedge said Saturday. ""I don't think it's anything to worry about. We just didn't want to push it.''

Miller pitched in only six games for Triple-A Buffalo last year, missing most of the season after undergoing an operation to repair his right middle finger. He returned to throw in the fall instructional league and made eight appearances in the Dominican Republic Winter League.

Tribe officials are hoping that Miller makes a strong bid to win a spot in the bullpen.

SAME GAME? -- It was a vastly different kind of baseball than the Indians experienced in their first two games, when opposing teams amassed  41 runs.

But after a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday, the Tribe dropped a 1-0 decision to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, as each team managed only three hits.

Edward Mujica gave up the only run on two hits in the seventh inning and has given up five earned runs and five hits in two innings.

Otherwise, the pitching news was good for the Tribe, as Carl Pavano, Scott Lewis and Rafael Perez each threw  two hitless innings.

``It was nice to see a good pitching day out here,'' Wedge said.

MEDICAL UPDATES -- Wedge reported that closer Kerry Wood had no back pain when he threw a bullpen on Friday.

``He threw the ball well,'' said the manager, who did not predict when Wood would appear in an exhibition game. ``Everything was positive.''

Sidearming reliever Joe Smith is recovering from a viral infection, but it will be awhile before he pitches in a game.

``We have to get him strong again, build him up,'' Wedge said. ""But I would say he'll be in there in a week or less.''

David Dellucci and Travis Hafner appear to be on the same track.

``They both will probably play toward the end of the week,'' Wedge said.

Hafner is coming off shoulder surgery, and Dellucci had to take three stitches in his thumb after slamming a door on his hand before coming to camp.

REPLACEMENT PLAYER -- Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies will take the place of Grady Sizemore, who dropped out of the World Baseball Classic on Friday because of a groin strain.

With Vernon Wells also a recent scratch,Team USA is left with  little in the way of power. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and David Wright of the New York Mets are the best home run threats remaining.

MARCHING ONWARD -- The Indians return to Goodyear today to play the Colorado Rockies. Zach Jackson will start against Aaron Cook. In the bullpen will be Jeremy Sowers, Jensen Lewis, Jack Cassel, Kirk Saarloos, Tomo Okha, John Meloan and Hector Rondon.

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