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Cleveland Indians

Smith, Kobayashi shine after Lewis fails

By Sheldon Published: March 31, 2009

Like so many of the Indians' spring training games, Tuesday's 12-4 loss to the Mariners wasn't pretty.

The good news for the Tribe: Masa Kobayashi worked a hitless inning, and Joe Smith pitched effectively, despite giving up one run and two hits in two innings. Smith didn't issue a walk and struck out three.

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3-31-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 31, 2009

Barring any other injuries or unforeseen events the Cleveland Indians finished picking its 25 men to begin the season with yesterday.

Left-hander Zach Jackson earned the final bullpen spot Vinnie Chulk. Outfielder Trevor Crowe was also recalled to replace Dave Dellucci, who is heading to the disabled list with a strained calf.

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Hafner hits first homer

By Sheldon Published: March 30, 2009

Travis Hafner validated manager Eric Wedge's confidence in him by hitting his first home run of the spring Monday against the Padres.

The Indians' designated hitter picked on a second-inning, 2-and-2 breaking pitch from Kevin Correia and sent it soaring over the right-center field fence, perhaps 395 feet from home plate.

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Dellucci injured, Crowe recalled

By jcfortun Published: March 30, 2009

Well, that didn't take long.

Indians reserve outfielder Dave Dellucci was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained left calf muscle.

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3-30-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 30, 2009

Dear Major League Baseball,

I am sick of spring training. Can the season just get here so we can have something new to talk about?

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Wedge will play it by ear

By Sheldon Published: March 29, 2009

Manager Eric Wedge tried Sunday to explain how he would handle the Indians' logjam at first base and catcher among Victor Martinez, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Garko.

In essence, Wedge will figure it out as he goes along.

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What is the biggest question mark this season?

By jcfortun Published: March 29, 2009

What is going to be the biggest question mark this season for the Cleveland Indians?

Sheldon Ocker wonders if the offense is going to be able to produce like they did in the second half.

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3-29-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 29, 2009

Josh Barfield earned the final spot on the bench yesterday by beating out Trevor Crowe and Tony Graffanino.

Barfield, a second baseman by trade, learned how to play third base and the outfield this spring. Here are the stories on it:

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3-28-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 28, 2009

Top prospect Adam Miller finally received some good news Friday when the Tribe announced that his injured finger is responding to an altered grip on the baseball.

Miller, whose career was threatened by the injury, may not need surgery if his finger continues to show progress.

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Lee takes step backward

By Sheldon Published: March 27, 2009

It looked like Cliff Lee had righted the ship in his last start, holding the Rockies to two runs in five innings.

But Friday against the Giants, Lee was shelled for 12 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in five innings, as the Indians fell 10-3 at Scottsdale Stadium.

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3-27-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 27, 2009

Scott Lewis didn't exactly make the Indians feel comfortable about their decision to make him the fourth starter.

A day after being publicly announced as such, Lewis was shellacked by the Los Angeles Angels.

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Lewis wins, then stumbles

By Sheldon Published: March 26, 2009

One day a pitcher learns he has made the rotation and the next he is shelled in an exhibition game.

That was the case with Scott Lewis Thursday. On Wednesday, he was declared the winner in the battle for the final spot in the Indians' rotation. The next day, he stumbled through three innings, allowing  five runs, eight hits and two walks.

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A few roster moves

By jcfortun Published: March 26, 2009

The Indians re-assigned infielder Andy Cannizaro to minor league camp today and claimed right-handed pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu off waivers from the San Diego Padres.

Ryu, 25, has been optioned directly to Triple A Columbus. Last year, as a member of the Rays organization, Ryu made five starts at triple A Durham.

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Tribe fourth best org., FanGraphs says

By jcfortun Published: March 26, 2009

Fangraphs got around to the Cleveland Indians today in its organizational rankings.

The Indians come in at No. 4 overall.

here are their grades:

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Today's starting lineups

By jcfortun Published: March 26, 2009

Per Anthony Castrovince:

INDIANS
2B Jamey Carroll
3B Mark DeRosa
C Victor Martinez
DH Travis Hafner
RF Shin-Soo Choo
1B Ryan Garko
LF David Dellucci
CF Ben Francisco
SS Wilson Valdez

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The MLB Network likes Indians-Yanks

By jcfortun Published: March 26, 2009

While doing a little Web surfing I came across MLB Network's slate of games to start the season.

April 9: Brewers @ Giants with Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane, 6 pm
April 16: Indians @ Yankees with Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds & Jim Kaat, noon
April 16: Blue Jays @ Twins with Victor Rojas & Dan Plesac, 7 pm
April 23 :Dodgers @ Astros with Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane, 7 pm
April 30: Red Sox @ Rays with Victor Rojas & Joe Magrane, 6 pm
May 7: Phillies @ Mets with Bob Costas & Al Leiter, 6 pm
May 14: Orioles @ Royals, with TBA, 7 pm
May 21 Cubs @ Cardinals with TBA, 7 pm

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3-26-09 Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 26, 2009

Yesterday's biggest news centered around the battle for the fifth starter position, which in actuality was the battle for the fourth starter position.

Nevertheless, left hander Scott Lewis edged Aaron Laffey for the spot. Sheldon Ocker and the PD's Paul Hoynes both wrote about the choice.

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3-25-09 Morning roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 25, 2009

Not a whole lot of news of note around the Indians beat today. Terry Pluto and MLB.com's Tom Singer both wrote articles on Fausto Carmona.

Anthony Catrovince took a peak at the question marks throughout the starting rotation.

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Carmona continues mowing them down

By Sheldon Published: March 24, 2009

Jeremy Sowers was the most prominent name on the Indians' latest list of cuts Tuesday.

The departure of Sowers from big-league camp leaves Aaron Laffey and frontrunner Scott Lewis as the final two competitors in the battle to become the No. 5 starter.

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White Sox-Indians starting lineups

By jcfortun Published: March 24, 2009

The Indians will meet Central Division rival Chicago 4:05 p.m. today at goodyear Park. The game will be televised on STO.

Here are the starting lineups:
White Sox (11-14)
0CF DeWayne Wise
2B Chris Getz
1B Paul Konerko
DH Jim Thome
C A.J. Pierzynski
3B Josh Fields
RF Brian Anderson
SS Brent Lillibridge
LF Jerry Owens

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LaPorta, Brantley and Sowers sent down

By jcfortun Published: March 24, 2009

The Indians made another round of cuts today as they optioned left-handed pitcher Jeremy Sowers and catcher Wyatt Toregas to Triple A Columbus.

Right-handed pitcher Greg Aquino, first baseman Michael Aubrey, right-handed pitcher Kirk Saarloos and outfielders Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta were reassigned to minor league camp.

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PD examines baseball's economic slate

By jcfortun Published: March 24, 2009

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Rich Exner and Bill Lubinger used their computer-assisted reporting skills to dig into the economic slate of Major League baseball today.

Does maximum cash equate to winning?

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Morning roundup, March 24

By jcfortun Published: March 24, 2009

Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro took some time yesterday to discuss the state of this year's team. Sheldon Ocker and the PD's Paul Hoynes were listening.

This is kind of a telling quote from Ocker's story:

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Morning roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 23, 2009

Alright, the season really needs to get here. The beat writers seem to be cycling material at this point.

MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince and the PD's Paul Hoynes wrote about Josh Barfield and how he has had a busy spring training. Thye are both worth a read, but isn't exactly crisp news.

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Team USA eliminated from WBC

By jcfortun Published: March 23, 2009

The United States won't be the best baseball team in the World. Japan, on the other hand, could be for the second time.

The Japanese team, behind Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, eliminated Team USA from the World Baseball Classic by beating them 9-4 in the semifinals at Dodger Stadium tonight.

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Lee makes good on his promise

By Sheldon Published: March 22, 2009

Cliff Lee was true to his word.

In his last start, the ace of the Indians' staff was rocked for 10 runs (nine earned) in 22/3 inings, as his earned-run average soared to 18.90. He said the results were unfortunate, but he was working on commanding his fastball, and to do that he had to throw heaters almost every pitch.

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Morning roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 22, 2009

Two more weeks.

Tow more weeks until this everlasting spring training comes to an end and the Indians take the field for real.

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AL Central Insider

By Ron Published: March 21, 2009

Here is a quick spin around the AL Central.

In Detroit, the fifth spot in the Tigers' rotation has come down to Nate Robertson and Rick Porcello. Also the Detroit News reports that Dontrelle Willis is scrapping all the different changes he has made and will return to his pitching motion from his days with the Florida Marlins.

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Where the blog is going

By Ron Published: March 21, 2009

We are testing some different ideas for the Tribe blog as we go through the exhibition season, and we will do the same in the regular season. Sheldon's notebook will be available during games once the regular season begins, which will allow you all to comment immediately on those items or what is happening in that game. Stephanie and Jonas will provide other notes, short stories and breaking news items. We will have expanded looks at the American League Central, Q/As with Indians prospects and some of the top prospects in baseball as they come through town. Keep the comments and ideas coming. We want this to be a gathering space for you guys to talk about the Indians.

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Pavano's command creates problems

By Sheldon Published: March 20, 2009

Carl Pavano struggled through his worst outing of the spring, giving up six runs in four innings, as the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Friday at Goodyear Ballpark.

Among the seven hits Pavano allowed were three doubles, one triple and Cliff Pennington's home run.

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Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 20, 2009

The final position battles are about to get a lot more serious now that the Indians made their first roster cuts.

Fifteen players were optioned to the minors yesterday leaving 44 players left in camp vying for 25 roster positions.

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Huff among 15 sent to minor-league camp

By Sheldon Published: March 19, 2009

The Indians said goodbye to 15 players Thursday, but the group didn't go far, only to the minor-league camp next door.

It is time for prospects to play every day and for suspects to leave the scene, allowing players more likely to win roster spots a chance to get the at-bats and the repetitions on the mound.

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Indians trim roster

By jcfortun Published: March 19, 2009

The Cleveland Indians trimmed its roster today by optioning 15 players to the minor leagues.

Pitchers Jon Meloan, Adam Miller, Juan Salas, Tony Sipp and infielder Luis Valbuena were optioned to AAA Columbus.

Pitcher Hector Rondon and catcher Carlos Santana, the top prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, were optioned to AA Akron.

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Aeros tickets on sale Monday

By jcfortun Published: March 19, 2009

Single-game tickets for all 71 Aeros contests at Canal Park will go on sale Monday, March 23rd at 10 a.m. the team announced yesterday. Fans wishing to purchase tickets may do so at Infield Outfitters, the official team store of the Aeros, located on South Main Street at Canal Park.

All adult reserved tickets are just $10
Right field bleacher seats priced at $9.
Tickets for Kids 12 and under and Seniors 60 are $8 for reserved seats and $7 for bleachers.

Tickets are just $6 for the opening homestand against Bowie and Altoona April 8th-15th as part of the annual Aeros Welcome Home Week.

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Morning roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 19, 2009

With the off day yesterday, it is a pretty slow news day for the Tribe.

The majority of the stories out there center around Adam Miller and his possibly career-ending finger injury. I would suggest scrolling down to the previous post to catch that one.

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Miller's career in jeopardy

By Sheldon Published: March 18, 2009

It seems inconceivable that a quarter inch decrease in the movement of the tip of the middle finger could put a pitcher's career at risk.

Yet, that is precisely what could happen to luckless Adam Miller, whose right middle finger has created a nightmare for him. And Miller's bad dream is far from over.

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Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 18, 2009

Cleveland Indians starter Cliff Lee was shelled yesterday in a Spring training game against the Rangers as he allowed nine earned runs and 11 hits in just under three innings of work.

Apparently Lee was working on the location of his fastball and threw the pitch the majority of the time.

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What a relief

By Sheldon Published: March 17, 2009

After Cliff Lee put the Indians in a 10-0 hole Tuesday, the Tribe wasn't likely to rally for victory, and thus fell to the Rangers 11-5 at Surprise Stadium.

Maybe the only good thing about the game from the Cleveland perspective -- other than it didn't count -- was the workmanship of the bullpen.

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03-17-09 Indians-Rangers Lineups

By jcfortun Published: March 17, 2009

The Indians play the Rangers today at 4:05. Here are the starting lineups:

INDIANS:
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Jamey Carroll
DH Travis Hafner
3B Jhonny Peralta
RF Ben Francisco
C Kelly Shoppach
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
LF Matt LaPorta
1B Michael Aubrey
LHP Cliff Lee

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Morning Roundup

By jcfortun Published: March 17, 2009

It's Travis Hafner day around the Indians beat!

MLB.com Indians beat writer Anthony Castrovince and Plain Dealer reporter Paul Hoynes wrote articles detailing Hafner's comeback this season.

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MLB Network highlights Tribe

By jcfortun Published: March 16, 2009

The MLB Network's 30 Clubs in 30 Days finally made its way to Goodyear today as it profiled the Indians.

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Gimenez raises eyebrows

By Sheldon Published: March 16, 2009

Chris Gimenez whacked a three-run homer with two outs and the score tied in the ninth to give the Indians a 4-1 win over the Brewers Monday at Goodyear Ballpark.

There will be no parade through downtown Goodyear today, and Gimenez will not ask to renegotiate his contract. This was only an exhibition game. Meaningless as to the result but not as to the process.

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Lewis makes it a three-way race

By Sheldon Published: March 15, 2009

Technically, it's still five for the money, but as of today it's a three-way race among Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey and Scott Lewis to win the fifth spot in the Indians' rotation.

Following very good outings by Sowers and Laffey, Lewis worked a solid four innings in the Tribe's 6-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Goodyear Ballpark.

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Carmona grounds Padres

By Sheldon Published: March 14, 2009

Fausto Carmona dialed up his favorite pitch, a sinker, and delivered four scoreless innings, as the Indians defeated the San Diego Padres 8-6 at Peoria Stadium.

Of his 12 outs, nine came on ground balls, including one on a double play. Carmona also struck out two but walked three. In four appearances, he has permitted three earned runs and nine hits in 11 innings for a 2.45 ERA.

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LaPorta, Brantley showing off

By Sheldon Published: March 14, 2009

They are two of the most talked about players in the Indians' training camp, yet the odds are overwhelming that neither will be on the Opening Day roster.

Spring training is not all about Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, it only seems that way.

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3-14 Starting lineups

By jcfortun Published: March 14, 2009

The Indians are set for a 4:05 ET contest today against the San Diego Padres. The game will be played at Peioria Stadium in Peioria, Arizona. Here are the starting lineups:

Indians:
CF Ben Francisco
2B Adrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
C Victor Martinez
SS Jhonny Peralta
1B Ryan Garko
3B Josh Barfield
RF Trevor Crowe
LF Michael Brantley
RHP Fausto Carmona

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Westbrook reaches milestone

By Sheldon Published: March 13, 2009

Jake Westbrook and Adam Miller are both out of the picture in terms of winning immediate jobs on the Indians' pitching staff.

They have two other things in common: They are trying to overcome injuries, and Tribe officials wish both of them were healthy enough to pitch right now.

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Smith makes spring debut

By Sheldon Published: March 11, 2009

It took awhile, but after being laid low by an unnnamed virus, Joe Smith made his first spring training appearance as the Indians lost 5-0 to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark.

For five days, Smith battled headaches and other symptoms and had get his strength back before Tribe officials would let him back on the mound.

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CC roughed up

By jcfortun Published: March 11, 2009

Liriano returning to form for Twins

By jcfortun Published: March 11, 2009

Minnesota Twins left handed pitcher Francisco Liriano was the toast of baseball during the 2006 season when he made 16 starts and compiled a 12-3 record with 144 strikeouts in 121 innings.

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Indians rockies lineups

By jcfortun Published: March 11, 2009

The Indians are about and hour and a half away from the first pitch this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark between the Colorado Rockies and the Cleveland Indians.

The starting lineups are already in:

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Pavano encouraged by latest outing

By Sheldon Published: March 10, 2009

Carl Pavano made his third and longest start of the spring and pronounced himself on track in the Indians' 8-4 loss to the Angels.

"I felt strong after the third inning,'' he said. ""I'm continuing to pound the zone and trying to get ahead in the count. I think I threw like 50 pitches. That's not ideal for three innings, but what are you going to do? It's that time of year, when you're working on stuff.''

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Deceptive outing for Carmona

By Sheldon Published: March 9, 2009

Fausto Carmona gave up three runs and five hits in three innings, but it was really better than that.

One problem: Ben Francisco stumbled chasing Chris Getz's drive to center and the ball rolled all the way to the wall for an inside-the-park home run that probably should have been a double.

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Beckham making waves for ChiSox

By jcfortun Published: March 9, 2009

One of the better stories beginning to formulate this spring training comes out of the camp of one of the Indian’s top rivals: the Chicago White Sox.

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DeRosa shows his skill set in WBC

By jcfortun Published: March 9, 2009

The World Baseball Classic got some good ole, prime-time ESPN Sunday Night Baseball coverage last night as the United States pummeled Venezuela, 15-6 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

I am not quite sure how the fan base here view the WBC, or if anyone cares. Personally, its baseball and it was a welcome sight.

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Saarloos vanquishes former teammates

By Sheldon Published: March 8, 2009

PHOENIX: Kirk Saarloos got a chance to face his former teammates from the Athletics and made the most of the opportunity Sunday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

In three innings, Saarloos yielded no runs two hits and two walks, but the Indians lost 8-5.

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Bullpen up in arms

By Sheldon Published: March 5, 2009

Adam Miller was not supposed to be the first Indians bullpen contender to fall by the wayside, but that's what could happen.

Tribe officials were hoping that Miller might pitch his way onto a big-league roster for the first time, but a sore right middle finger might delay his major-league debut.

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Miller longshot to make roster?

By Sheldon Published: March 4, 2009

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Don't look for Adam Miller to pitch any time soon.

The Indians are taking the cautious approach with Miller, who was told to stop pitching because of soreness in his surgically repaired right middle finger following a bullpen session six days ago. ¶

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Reyes getting extra help

By Sheldon Published: March 3, 2009

Former Texas Rangers pitching coach Tom House was once thought of as radical, because he encouraged his pupils to throw footballs.

But that was a long time ago. These days, House is considered mainstream enough to become the pitching coach at USC, where he has been visited for advice by Anthony Reyes, who started for the Indians on Tuesday.

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Young lions making impact

By Sheldon Published: March 2, 2009

It's like the Indians are operating their own Futures Game.

In the lineup against the Texas Rangers on Monday were Michael Brantley, Beau Mills, Matt LaPorta, Wes Hodges and Chris Gimenez, minor-leaguers who are expected to make an impact on the major-league team some day.

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Battle for fifth spot continues

By Sheldon Published: March 1, 2009

Jeremy Sowers and Zach Jackson are competing for the fifth spot in the Indians' rotation, along with Aaron Laffey and David Huff.

Jackson started the 6-4 victory Sunday over the Colorado Rockies at Goodyear Ballpark, and Sowers followed him. Each pitcher gave up one run, four hits and a walk in two innings, so statistically, at least, there was little to chose between them.

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