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Cleveland Indians

Can Tribe assemble viable rotation?

By Sheldon Published: October 3, 2009

BOSTON: If no new candidates are added to the Indians' group of starters, will the team be able to field a representative rotation? Manager Eric Wedge thinks so.

""I think there are enough guys here to potentially do that,'' he said

Wedge thinks Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson need to rise to the top of the pecking order. Why them?

""Those two guys have the best stuff,'' Wedge said. ""But is one of them going to be that guy? The thing is, you're talking about consistency.''

At least the roster will include several starters with at least two years of experience: Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, Carmona and Jake Westbrook, who is coming off elbow reconstruction surgery. In addition, the contenders include Masterson, David Huff and Carlos Carrasco, newcomers to the job.

Is Carrasco, only 22, ready to compete for the rotation?

""I think he should have the opportunity to compete with those guys,'' Wedge said, ""because of the season he had in the minors, his stuff and the fact he's gotten better.''

UNFAIR RESULT? -- Is Wedge being made the scapegoat for the failure of others?

""Certainly not,'' he said. ""I understand the job and what goes with that. There are certain things that led us to this point. All of that goes with the territory of being a manager.''

That said, would he want his son to be a big-league manager?

""Yeah, sure,'' Wedge said after a pause. ""As long as he did it the right way. But we haven't had that discussion yet.''

Wedge's son Dalton will be two years old in February.

FINAL DAYS DETAILS -- Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the lineup at shortstop Saturday night after missing four games with a strained hamstring. *elip The starting pitcher for today's season finale will be Tomo Ohka, with most of the bullpen at the ready to help out.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE -- the failure of the back end of the bullpen early in the season started the Tribe on its fatal slide into sub .500 baseball. But the relievers finally righted themselves, which might indicate a better 2010 season.

Going into Saturday night's action, the bullpen has compiled a 3.63 earned-run average over the past 50 games. In the past 16 games, the relievers' ERA is 2.56.

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