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Cleveland Indians

Tribe roster on hold?

By Sheldon Published: July 11, 2009

DETROIT: With a roster that includes an inordinate number of pitchers, the Indians can use the All-Star break to rebalance their squad. But will they?

"We have no plan to do that right now,'' manager Eric Wedge said Saturday. ""But Mark (Shapiro) and I haven't had full discussions about that yet.''

Including Toma Ohka, who will make a spot start today, the Tribe has nine pitchers in the bullpen and four starters. Wedge won't need a fifth starter against until July 25, and the outing won't necessarily go to Ohka.

Wedge will revise the order of his rotation for the second half, but he won't try to maneuver Cliff Lee's spot away from matchups against No. 1 starters of opposing teams. In most of Lee's starts, his rival often has been the ace of the staff, contributing to Lee's chronic lack of run support.

"It's just the luck of the draw,'' Wedge said. "There's no way you can avoid those matchups. One rain delay or one off day can change everything.''

CARMONA INCONSISTENT -- In Fausto Carmona's latest start for Columbus, he gave up five runs, eight hits and two walks in seven innings Friday night.

"Fausto was good his first two innings and pretty good his last two,'' Wedge said. "In the middle three, he came out of his delivery a little bit. He'll remain down there for the time being.''

NO SPECIAL PLANS -- During the three-day All-Star break, Wedge will take a break.

"Obviously, I'll have some conversations with Mark Shapiro,'' the manager said. "But nothing (formal meeting) is planned. Other than that, I'll just lay low.''

FEELINGS -- Victor Martinez has played first base (39 games) almost as much as he has caught (43), but he still thinks of himself as a catcher first.

"I like to catch more, but I'll do anything to help the team,'' he said. ""So it doesn't matter if I like to catch or not.''

Martinez has been logging more time behind the plate than earlier in the season, because Kelly Shoppach has not met Wedge's expectations at the plate.

MARTE AN OPTION? -- Out of sight, out of mind, that's the way it's been for Andy Marte, whose average continues to hover around .315 at Columbus.

Wedge said he knows few details about Marte's season. Asked if he has a chance for another shot with the Tribe, the manager said, ""Anybody with a uniform on, we would consider.''

Some observers have explained Marte's surge at the plate -- he also has 11 home runs and 50 RBI -- as a product of the work he's done with Clippers hitting coach Jon Nunally, who apparently has gotten through to the 25-year-old former hot prospect.

FARM FACTS -- Jordan Brown doubled, singled and drove in a run, but Columbus dropped a 5-4 decision to Louisville.... In his first start since being called up from Lake County, Alexander Perez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) threw six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, as Kinston defeated Potomac 6-1. Lonnie Chisenhall had two hits.... Clayton Cook (1-1, 2.81 ERA)  threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, as Mahoning Valley beat Batavia 8-1.

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