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Aeros rally past Binghamton to split series 2-2; Constanza ties record

By sstorm Published: August 31, 2009

AKRON AEROS 10, BINGHAMTON METS 7 KEY STATS: Aeros CF Jose Constanza stole his 41st base of the season in the second inning, tying him with former second baseman Eider Torres for the single-season franchise record...Aeros pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Binghamton batters. KEY MOMENTS: The Aeros took an early six-run lead after three innings but the B-Mets rallied back with a five-run fourth inning, ending the night of Aeros starter and RHP Jeanmar Gomez after just 3 2/3 innings by batting around...The Aeros battled back with two runs in the sixth and seventh innings against Binghamton's bullpen. STORM'S STAR: LF Jerad Head went 2-for-4 with two triples and four RBIs...C Carlos Santana went 3-for-4 with three RBIs...Constanza reached base all five trips to the plate, going 2-for-2 with three walks. UP NEXT: The Aeros hit the road for a quick three-game road trip to Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates) beginning tonight at 6:35 p.m. at Blair County Ballpark. Scheduled to pitch for the Aeros is right-hander Connor Graham (1-3, 5.08 ERA). He is expected to face Curve right-hander Yoslan Herrera (11-1, 3.23 ERA). RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Lots to learn; not much time

By Sheldon Published: August 31, 2009

When a minor-league catcher is called up to the majors for the first time in the middle of a season, it can feel like he's facing a final exam in calculus and doesn't even know the name of the textbook.

That's the position Wyatt Toregas found himself in July 31, when the Indians summoned him from Columbus. All he had to do was learn which pitches all 13 members of the staff liked to throw in various situations, how they liked him to give signs, how to present the target with his glove, where they wanted him to crouch and countless other individual idiosyncracies.

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Reading comes through with a loss to hand Aeros division title

By sstorm Published: August 31, 2009

The Aeros didn't do it with a win on the field Sunday afternoon, but instead got an assist from Reading as the Phillies 1-0 loss in the first game of a double header against visiting Bowie handed the Akron the Eastern League Southern Division title late Sunday evening.

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Aeros lose, need Reading's help

By sstorm Published: August 30, 2009

BINGHAMTON METS 5, AKRON AEROS 3 KEY STATS: With the loss, the Aeros are now depending on division-foe Reading to lose at one game of its scheduled double header against visiting Bowie to clinch the regular-season Southern Division title. But even if Reading wins both, the Aeros still have the opportunity to clinch on their own with tonight's 7:05 p.m. game. KEY MOMENTS: Aeros starter Bobby Livingston (8-7) followed his usual pattern on the mound. He struggled at the beginning of the game, gave up a handful of runs and then settled in to go 7 2/3 innings in which he allowed five runs - including two home runs...It wasn't an insurmountable lead, the but the Aeros lacked much life, collecting just five hits - enough to notch a run in the first, fourth and ninth innings. STORM'S STAR: B-Mets starter Eric Brown entered the game with 14 losses on the season, but enjoyed one of his better outings in limiting the listless Aeros to two runs (none earned) over six solid frames. UP NEXT: The Aeros wrap up this four-game series and homestand with Game Four against Binghamton (New York Mets) at 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park. Schedule to pitch for the Aeros is right-hander Jeamar Gomez (10-4, 3.09 ERA) and B-Mets left-hander Mike Antonini (7-3, 4.84 ERA). RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Noah would have built an ark

By Sheldon Published: August 30, 2009

BALTIMORE: It was an event, something to watch and even record.

Jensen Lewis took photos with his cell phone camera. Some players might have hung around too long after a downpour caused both dugouts at Camden Yards to fill with water Saturday night.

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Carrasco to make big-league debut

By Sheldon Published: August 30, 2009

BALTIMORE: Carlos Carrasco will get the first chance to validate the trade of Cliff Lee to the Phillies.

The 22-year-old right-hander will make his major-league debut on Tuesday, when he starts against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. He will take the turn of David Huff, though Huff is not necessarily odd man out the rest of the season..

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Aeros win big, need one more to clinch division

By sstorm Published: August 29, 2009

AKRON AEROS 13, BINGHAMTON METS 3 KEY STATS: A night after being one-hit, the Aeros offense exploded for 13 runs on 19 hits...LF Matt McBride's two doubles moved him into fourth place in all of minor league baseball with 42 between Akron and high Class-A Kinston...The Aeros Magic Number to clinch the Southern Division title is down to one. KEY MOMENTS: The Aeros scored at least one run in all but three innings, including posting four-run innings in the fourth and sixth...C Carlos Santana's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning gave him 90 RBI, moving him into third place on the Aeros all-time RBI list. STORM'S STAR: Every player in Akron's starting lineup had at least one hit, with only two players not finishing with multiple hits. RF Jerad Head led the way with a 3-for-4 effort that included four RBI and two runs scored. UP NEXT: The Aeros host Binghamton for the third game of this four-game series today at Canal Park at 1:35 p.m. Aeros left-hander Bobby Livingston (2-4, 5.55 ERA) and B-Mets right-hander Eric Brown (5-14, 6.38 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers. ROSTER MOVES: The Aeros welcomed a familiar face back to the bullpen Saturday, as right-hander Brian Grening rejoined the team from low Class-A Lake County. Grening, who owns the distinction of having pitched at four different levels of the Indians minor league system this season, made two scoreless appearances for the Aeros in June. Grening was the Tribe's 38th-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Cal Poly. He takes the roster spot of right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday (retroactive to Friday) with a left calf strain. RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Another shoulder ailment shelves Hafner

By Sheldon Published: August 29, 2009

All season, Travis Hafner has been dealing with the after-effects of last year's right shoulder surgery.

Now, he is fighting soreness in his left shoulder, an ailment that kept him out of the Indians' lineup Saturday night.

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Aeros lose 3-1 in rain-shortened game

By sstorm Published: August 28, 2009

BINGHAMTON METS 3, AKRON AEROS 1 KEY STATS: As the game started, the Aeros knew they couldn't clinch the division even with a win as second-place Reading was rained out...But it didn't matter in the end as the Aeros' game was also shortened by rain after just 6 1/2 innings...Aeros LHP Scott Barnes took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits in just 4 2/3 innings. KEY MOMENTS: The Aeros took an early lead in the second inning when LF Jerad Head walked, stole second base and scored on 3B Jared Goedert's single to left field...But the B-Mets rallied with single runs in the third through fifth innings. C Josh Thole's sacrifice fly put Binghamton on the board in the third, an Aeros error contributed to a run in the fourth and a pair of Barnes' wild pitches allowed the final run to come home. STORM'S STARS: Goedert was the only Aeros player to get a hit...Thole and D.J. Wabick were 2-for-3 with an RBI...B-Mets LHP Eric Niesen limited the host to just one hit and a run over six innings. UP NEXT: The Aeros continue this four-game homestand with the B-Mets (New York Mets) with the second game of the series tonight at Canal Park at 7:05 p.m. Aeros left-hander Eric Berger (1-1, 3.18 ERA) and B-Mets right-hander Dylan Owen (4-9, 5.60 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers. RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Pino in the fold

By sstorm Published: August 28, 2009

The Indians acquired right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino from Minnesota to complete the August 7th trade that sent veteran right-hander Carl Pavano to the Twins.
The 25-year-old Pino has played at both Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester this season, going 7-3 w/a 3.03 ERA in 40 games spanning 12 starts.
Pino began the season at New Britain (5-1, 3.19ERA) before being sent to Rochester July 20 (2-2, 2.82 ERA). The 6-foot-2, 190-pound native of Venezuela owns a career minor league record of 53-22 with a 2.86 ERA in 161 games since signing with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in May 2004.
The Indians have asked Pino to report to Columbus to start for the Clippers Tuesday.

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Toregas getting noticed

By Sheldon Published: August 28, 2009

BALTIMORE: It was the kind of play that puts a young, inexperienced, relatively anonymous player named Wyatt in the spotlight.

Wyatt Toregas was behind the plate with two outs in the ninth, the Indians trying to close out a 5-4 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night. With two strikes on Nick Markakis but runners on third and first, Kerry Wood unleashed a monster breaking pitch that headed for the dirt and was on track to kick back to the screen.

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Aeros clinch playoff berth

By sstorm Published: August 28, 2009

With their 11-5 win over host Bowie Thursday night, the Aeros clinched their fith consecutive trip to the post-season while also setting an Eastern League record in posting 80 victories for the fifth consecutive season.
With the win, Akron improved to 80-51 and finished 4-4 on the eight-game road trip.
The team returns home today to host Binghamton (New York Mets) for a four-game home stand beginning at 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park.

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Strangers when they meet

By Sheldon Published: August 27, 2009

BALTIMORE: By the time Grady Sizemore stepped in the box for a look at the first pitch of the game Thursday night, it had been 362 days since the Indians had played the Orioles at Camden Yards.

It's the way of the baseball world these days. Since the advent of interleague play, the schedule has become a hodgepodge of random games, surrounding the sacred weeks when clubs from rival leagues play one another.

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Smith finally on a run

By Sheldon Published: August 26, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo.: It took awhile. That's the way it works, especially for younger, less experienced relief pitchers who drop their arm down and throw sidearm.

Those pitchers can't be trusted, according to conventional baseball wisdom. If they throw with their right arm, like Joe Smith of the Indians, left-handers get a longer look at the ball and are likely to jump all over the guy's pitches.

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Tribe bus involved in accident

By Sheldon Published: August 26, 2009

The Indians' chartered bus from the hotel to the ballpark Wednesday morning was involved in an accident, when it was struck by a car that veered out of control during a downpour.

 None of the passengers on the bus -- eight players and assistant GM John Mirabelli -- were injured. The driver of the car also apparently escaped without injury.

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Wedge refutes fans' belief

By Sheldon Published: August 25, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Everybody has heard it, and lots of fans buy into it.

The conventional wisdom in Cleveland goes something like this: ""The Indians can't win until their out of the race, and the pressure is off. That's why they can trade their best players in the middle of the season and finish strong.''

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Perez recovers from shaky start

By Sheldon Published: August 24, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo.: It's probably not a stretch to say that Chris Perez made one of the more memorable debuts in major-league history.

Two days after being acquired from the Cardinals on June 27, Perez made his first appearance for the Indians. With a small gathering of 15,000-plus watching closely at Progressive Field, Perez trotted onto the field in the ninth inning with his team trailing the White Sox 2-0.

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Peralta's bat coming alive

By Sheldon Published: August 23, 2009

CLEVELAND: Jhonny Peralta hit a leadoff home run in the fourth inning to put the Indians ahead 2-1 Sunday against the Mariners, and the Tribe went on to win 6-1.

Peralta also delivered a two-out single in the first inning to drive in the first run of the game. Both hits came against one of the more lethal starters in the American League, Felix Hernandez, who came into the game with a 12-4 record and 2.66 earned-run average.

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Tribe will need new starter by mid September

By Sheldon Published: August 22, 2009

It probably will take four or more starts before David Huff reaches 160 or more innings, the approximate number that will trigger the end of his season.

In an effort to save the young pitcher's arm, manager Eric Wedge has decreed that Huff will be asked to shut it down when his total number of innings pitched gets into the 160s. That isn't likely to happen until at least Sept. 10.

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No shortage of jobs on Tribe

By Sheldon Published: August 21, 2009

CLEVELAND: Over the past 10 years or more, Indians' baseball operatives often have had little to do in spring training other than pick a utility infielder and a reliever.

That won't be the case when training camp begins in February. There is more uncertainty about the roster than at any time in years, and matching players to positions will be the top priority in the Arizona desert, unless some decisions are made by the end of this season.

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Aeros postponed Thursday, set to hit the road. White will join team in Erie

By sstorm Published: August 20, 2009

After a slow start to the season, Aeros shortstop Carlos Rivero is now batting .291 (51-for-175) with 19 walks, 10 doubles, six home runs, 22 runs scored and 24 RBI over his last 49 games dating back to June 26.

"Carlos has worked so hard this whole season on being more consistent with his (bat) path to the ball," Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh said. "Him and (hitting coach) Lee (May Jr.) have done a lot of good work.

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Draft pick makes it official

By Sheldon Published: August 20, 2009

CLEVELAND: All the karma seems to point in the direction of the Indians.

Alex White, the club's first-round draft choice, came to town Thursday to sign his $2.25 million contract. In meeting with reporters afterward, he revealed that he has watched the film Major League multiple times and lives only 20 minutes from Kinston, N.C., the Tribe's minor-league affiliate in the Carolina League.

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LaPorta headed for everyday duty

By Sheldon Published: August 19, 2009

CLEVELAND: Matt LaPorta's future took a new turn Wednesday afternoon.

When Indians officials learned that Trevor Crowe's sore oblique would require a lengthier healing period than anticipated, LaPorta was summoned from Toledo, where Columbus was playing the Mud Hens.

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LaPorta recalled, Crowe to DL

By jcfortun Published: August 19, 2009

The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has placed outfielder Trevor Crowe on the 15-day disabled list with a right internal oblique strain.  The transaction is retroactive to August 17.  To replace Crowe on the 25-man roster the Indians have recalled Matt LaPorta from AAA Columbus.

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Aeros erupt for nine runs after rain delay in 12-3 win over Bowie

By sstorm Published: August 18, 2009


KEY STATS: The teams waited out a 50-minute rain delay in the bottom half of the sixth inning with the Aeros batting...In his second start with the Aeros and first at Canal Park, LHP Scott Barnes earned a no-decision in allowing three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four...Bowie's pitchers combined to issue eight walks helping the Aeros load the bases four times.

KEY MOMENTS: The Aeros emerged from the rain delay ready to hit, with 1B Beau Mills greeting Baysox reliever Fredy Deza with a two-run double that put the host up 6-3...The Aeros then put the game away with six insurance runs against the Baysox bullpen in the eighth inning.

STORM'S STAR: Mills went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.

NOTES: Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti and Tribe special assistant to baseball operations Tim Belcher were at Canal Park Tuesday evening to watch the game from the stands behind home plate. Odds are that the pair were pretty interested in scouting one of the Indians new pitching prospects in Aeros starter Barnes. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder was originally signed by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the 2008 draft out of St. John's University. The left-hander came to the Indians in the trade that sent first baseman Ryan Garko to San Francisco in late July.

* MAGIC NUMBER: With the Aeros win and Reading's loss, Akron's magic number was reduced to 11 to clinch the Eastern League Southern Division title and 10 to clinch a playoff spot.

UP NEXT: The Aeros continue this short homestand with the second game of the three-game series at Canal Park against visiting Bowie (Baltimore Orioles) tonight at 7;05 p.m. Aeros left-hander Eric Berger (0-1, 5.40 ERA) and Baysox right-hander Tim Bascom (2-6, 4.24 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers.

RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Tribe to keep options open with White

By Sheldon Published: August 18, 2009

CLEVELAND: To say negotiations between the Indians and their first-round draft choice, Alex White, went down to the wire might be a little extreme. ¶
   The deal got done at 11:56 p.m. Monday, a good four minutes before the deadline, plenty of time for assistant general manager Chris Antonetti to send a time-stamped E-mail to the commisioner's office verifying that an agreement had been reached before midnight. ¶
   Antonetti did the heavy lifting on the $2.25 million contract, but then negotiating contracts with a deadline bearing down is all part of the job. Sixteen of the 32 first-round picks were unsigned heading into the final day of negotiations; all but three came to terms, and the deadline did not apply to one of those players. ¶
   White, a right-handed starter from the University of North Carolina, can take it easy for awhile. It is too late for him to get his arm ready to pitch for a minor-league team whose season will end around Labor Day. ¶
   ""We need to lay out a plan for the fall,'' General Manager Mark Shapiro said Tuesday. ""He'll go to instructional league and we'll weigh if the Arizona Fall League is an option. He's already pitched a lot of innings, and he's coming to big-league camp in the spring.'' ¶
   White, 20, was the 15th overall pick in the draft, pitching 107 innings for the Tar Heels, and that doesn't count the postseason tournament and College World Series. ¶
   What does Shapiro like best about White? ¶
   ""It's his competitiveness,'' the GM said. ""He never backs down. He pitched in every role for North Carolina, and he never had trouble acceptiing the ball in the toughest situations. That's combined with his stuff and his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds).'' ¶
   Shapiro described White's planned development path as a ""somewhat accelerated track.'' ¶
   Would the GM be surprised if White made his major-league debut in 2011? ¶
   ""I would not be surprised at that,'' he said. ""But 2010 would probably be a little soon.'' ¶
   The Tribe went beyond of the commissioner's recommended slotting figure to sign White. Last year's 15th selection cost the Blue Jays $1.7 million. Normally, the same pick could expect the slotting number to increase by 10 percent the following year. ¶
   Instead, Major League Baseball's advice was to pay the 15th choice about $1.5 million because of the country' poor economic conditions. However, teams increasingly are ignoring the slotting number, as did the Indians by giving White $725,000 more than the recommended amount. ¶
  Initially, a Tribe official said White's future probably would be in the bullpen. ¶
   ""That was just one statement,'' the GM said. "" We hadn't collectively made a decision. We'll develop him as a starter, which ensures that he will be the best he can be, and that we can maintain our options. We want to have the option of using him in either role, and this is the way to do that.'' ¶
   LEAVING THE DOOR OPEN -- When the Indians' roster can be expanded to 40 on Sept. 1, it will be no surprise if Matt LaPorta and Lou Marson are summoned to Cleveland from Columbus. ¶
   But what about a starting pitcher? ¶
   ""That's a possibility,'' manager Eric Wedge said Tuesday. ""We want to keep a close eye on David Huff, on the number innings he throws. Don't hold me to it, but I think we'd like to keep him to 160-170 innings total. Also, Jake Westbrook is out of the mix, so we won't be making room for him.'' ¶
   Huff has thrown 92 big-league innings and pitched another 391/3 at Triple-A.
   All of this adds up to the possibility that the Tribe's No. 1 pitching prospect, Hector Rondon, might be making his big-league debut in September. ¶
   Rondon began the year at Akron, compiling a 7-5 record and 2.75 ERA. Since being promoted the Columbus, he has posted a 4-2 record and 2.38 ERA. ¶
   STILL RECOVERING -- Trevor Crowe failed to start for the fourth consecutive game because of a sore oblique. ¶
   ""Trevor came out early and hit left-handed,'' Wedge said. ""He looked pretty good. He's better, but it's still there. If he improves by tomorrow, he'l be in there.'' ¶
  ANYTHING NEW? -- Andy Marte hasn't demonstrated that he is a substantially improved hitter since he was called up from Columbus July 28 with a gaudy Triple-A average of .327 with 18 homers and 66 RBI. ¶
   ""We're trying to give him every opportunity,'' Wedge said. ""He got himself going at Triple-A, so with everything that has happened here, he got another opportunity. We're trying to have him stay with an approach that will play for him. I think he's a little better. ¶
   Marte began Tuesday night's game with .194 average. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Lou Marson singled twice to raise his average to .302, but Columbus dropped an 8-4 decision to Toledo. Chuck Lofgren (5-8, 4.68 ERA) gave up seven runs in six innings. *elip Donnie Webb had four hits, including a home run, and six RBI in Lake County's 19-2 win over Rome. John Allman had five hits and three RBI. Nick Hagadone, acquired in the Victor Martinez trade, pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. ¶

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Indians sign White at deadline

By Ron Published: August 18, 2009

The Indians beat Monday night's midnight deadline by signing first-round draft choice Alex White to a contract worth $2.25 million.

In 16 starts for the University of North Carolina, White compiled an 8-4 record and a 3.87 ERA, giving up 93 hits, 44 walks and striking out 121 in 107 innings. Opponents batted .233 against him.

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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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Tough year for Wood

By Sheldon Published: August 16, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS: It hasn't been a fun season for Kerry Wood. ¶
   When he signed on to be the Indians' closer last winter, he was anticipating a stretch run that would culminate in a postseason berth. He also expected to routinely be summoned to the mound in the ninth inning to preserve wins. ¶
   Instead, manager Eric Wedge has been forced to use Wood 18 times in non save and tie  situations -- including Sunday -- to try and keep his closer sharp. Save situations have been relatively scarce. Wood has had only 20, succeeding 15 times. ¶
   ""It's been tough for me personally, getting off to the (poor) start that I did,'' Wood said. ""And as a team, we had high expectations leaving camp, legitimate expectations.'' ¶
   Most closers thrive on regular activity. Wood recognizes this, but he also takes responsibility for his failures.¶
  ""I've had some chances and didn't get it done,'' he said. ""I look at it this way: I didn't get a bigger work load, so I've saved a little wear and tear on my arm.'' ¶
   Pitching in non save situations should be no different than working with the game on the line, but the reaility is that many closers have trouble staying focused when they aren't performing their specialty. ¶
   ""We have to say that it doesn't make any difference,'' Wood said. ""And we try. But when it's not a save, the adrenalin doesn't kick in. The great ones can do it (bear down), the rest of us have a hard time.'' ¶
   Wood could do without the 4.71 earned-run average and seven home runs allowed in 41 innings. One problem has been a balky breaking pitch that he has gotten under control only recently. ¶
  ""My breaking ball was there early last year (with the Cubs),'' he said. ""Then I got a blister and started throwing a cutter. I'd come in thinking that if I needed to I had that cutter to fall back on. ¶
   ""But because of that, I'd give up on the breaking ball if I didn't get a couple of them over right away.'' ¶
   Lately, Wood has received more chances to pitch with the game on the line, making him more consistent. ¶
   ""I feel like he's been at his best the last four or five times he's been out there,'' Wedge said. ""He's thrown the ball where he wants to, and his breaking ball has been more of a weapon.'' ¶
   Wood has one year left on his contract, but with the recent trades of key players, contending for a playoff berth will be a longshot. ¶
   ""Obviously, we are not in the same position we were when we left camp,'' Wood said. ""But I signed a two-year contract to pitch for this organization. Either I'll be pitching down the stretch in a race, or I'll be part of a rebuilding year, helping young kids break in.'' ¶
   RARE TRIBUTE -- Manager Eric Wedge was talkng to a group of reporters outside the visiting clubhouse Sunday, when crew chief Bob Davidson was openng the door to enter the umpire's locker room a few yards away. ¶
   Davidson saw Wedge and his face brightened. ¶
   ""Hey Eric,'' Davidson said, ""You're one of the best arguers I've seen in a long time.'' ¶
   Davidson went on to compliment Wedge on his debating skills -- hostile as they were -- that emerged when the ump and the skipper went nose to nose after a play Friday night in which Wedge was ejected. ¶
   ""I called my wife after the game and told her how much fun it was,'' Davidson said. ¶
   Problems arose when Davidson called Justin Morneau out on a foul tip into the glove of Kelly Shoppach. ¶
   Morneau retreated to the dugout without disputing the call, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire asked Davidson to get help on the play. He did and first base umpire Wally Bell said the foul tip hit the ground. That's when Wedge entered the picture. ¶
   CROWE UPDATE -- Trevor Crowe was on the bench for the second game in a row because of a sore oblique, but he was cleared to pinch run and play the outfield. ¶
   Wedge said Crowe was permitted to take batting practice from the right side (Crowe is a switch hitter), but that he preferred to err on the side of caution. ¶
   ""Hopefully, with the day off tomorrow, he'll feel a lot better on Tuesday,'' the manager said. ""We'll see how he is when he shows up then.'' ¶
   Crowe insists the soreness is relatively minor, and he should know. ¶
   ""In '06 I was out for six weeks with an oblique strain,'' he said. ""This isn't anything like that. It just got a little sore over time. I should be OK in a couple of days.'' ¶
    OTHER STUFF -- The Indians are 15-9 in their past 24 games and have won six of their past eight series. *elip Aaron Laffey is 4-1 for his career against the Twins. *elip Laffey has allowed three home runs in his 17 games, including 11 starts. *elip The Tribe came into Sunday's game with the fewest home runs in August (3) of any team in the big leagues. *elip  Asdrubal Cabrera has an 11-game hitting streak (a .395 average). ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Adam Davis doubled twice, singled and drove in one run, as Kinston beat Salem 5-1. Tim Fedroff had two singles and two RBI. Scott Lewis got the rehab start, giving up one run adn two hits in 32/3 innings. *elip Jesus Brito had two hits and three RBI, and Jason Kipnis had two hits and one RBI, as Mahoning Valley defeated Lowell 7-6. ¶

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Carroll makes season debut in right

By Sheldon Published: August 15, 2009

  For the first time this season, Jamey Carroll played the outfield, starting the game in right Saturday. [ep
   Making one's outfield debut in the Metrodome is not the easiest thing to do. However, Carroll played right flawlessly and also made a relay to the plate after catching a fly ball to hold a runner at third. [ep
   ""It was definitely a challenge,'' Carroll said. ""It's a little tougher in the daytime, because the roof is lighter. And it doesn't need to be any tougher than it already is.'' [ep
   Why did Carroll play the outfield? [ep
 ""Trevor (Crowe) has a little right side oblique soreness,' manager Eric Wedge said. ""I talked to him this morning, and he said it felt a lot better.'' [ep
   Nevertheless, Crowe is not assured of starting today. [ep
   ""With the off day Monday, it makes more sense for him (to sit) today,'' Wedge said. ""But we'll see tomorrow.'' [ep
   Before Saturday, Carroll had started 47 games, 37 at second base and 10 at third. [ep
   WHAT TO DO -- For the season against the Tribe, Joe Mauer is batting .581 with 11 RBI, and Justin Morneau is hitting .318 with 11 RBI. [ep
   ""I would say both those guys are freaks of nature,'' David Huff said. ""Mauer is a little more disciplined. He has a better sense of the strike zone. But you have to try to get him to swing at something out of the zone. [ep
   ""Morneau is a little more aggressive. But you just have to battle and hope they don't hit a home run or that they don't come up with guys on base. You just can't let those guys beat you.'' [ep
   DOME DAYS DIMIINISH -- The sign in left field reads: ""Countdown to outdoor baseball.'' [ep
   Once this season is over, in 22 more home games, the Twins will end their tenure at the Metrodome and move into Target Field, which will not be covered by a roof. [ep
   Asked his feelings about the dome, Wedge said, ""This is a tough place to play. It's been a great home field advantage for a lot of years. I won't be disappointed to leave.'' [ep
   REMEMBERING -- Today is the 89th anniversary of Tribe shortstop Ray Chapman being hit in the head with a pitch thrown by the Yankees' Carl Mays, leading to the only on-field death in the history of the majors. Chapman suffered a fractured skull and died the next day, Aug. 17, 1920. [ep
  The Indians went on to win their first World Series against the Dodgers. [ep
  FARM FACTS -- Matt LaPorta homered twice and singled twice, driving in two runs, but Columbus lost to Indianapolis 14-5. LaPorta lifted his average to .306. *elip Cord Phelps homered nd singled, driving in three runs, as Kinston beat Salem 6-4. Adam Davis had three hits and Tim Fedroff doubled twice and had one RBI. Bryan Price gave up one run in six innings. *elip Bo Greenwell, Delvi Cid and Roberto Perez each had two hits.  [ep

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LaPorta time near?

By Sheldon Published: August 14, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS: What does a big-league team do when it comes time to call up featured minor leaguers and they've already arrived. [ep
   To some extent, that's the position the Indians are in. September is when rosters can be expanded to 40 and traditionally an organization's best Triple-A players (and maybe one or two in Double-A) are promoted for the last month of the season. [ep
   But in the case of the Tribe, many of Columbus' finest -- Trevor Crowe, Chris Gimenez, Andy Marte, Wyatt Toregas and Jess Todd -- already hold roster spots with the parent club. [ep
   Even so, there are other Triple-A players likely to be called up on Sept. 1. The most obvious candidate is left-fielder/first baseman Matt LaPorta, who played 13 games with the Indians earlier in the season. [ep
   The fans have been calling for his return and wonder why the team is taking so long to bring him to the big leagues. [ep
  ""People need to understand that this guy hssn't had s lot of minor-league time yet,'' manager Eric Wedge said Friday. ""This is valuable time for a player. It means more at-bats, it means more time at first base and in the outfield. The more time down there, the better prepared he will be when he does get up here.'' [ep
   Wedge won't say whether LaPorta will be called up in September, but it's almost certain that he will be. [ep
   ""Matt will be here sooner than later,'' Wedge said., ""But we have to do what's best for him.'' [ep
  After Ben Francisco was traded to Philadelphia as part of the Cliff Lee deal, there was a roster opening that went to Crowe instead of LaPorta. The reason: With Francisco gone, Crowe was the only viable backup for Grady Sizemore in center. [ep
   Moreover, because Marte had an excellent season at Columbus, Tribe officials felt they had to give him one more look before he ran out of options at the end of the season. The only place to play Marte was first base, where LaPorta seems to be headed. [ep
   Asked if LaPorta was ready to stick on a big-league roster the first time he was summoned from Triple-A, Wedge said, ""At some point in time I think he would have had to go back down. Almost everybody does.'' [ep
   Where does LaPorta need the most work? [ep
   ""It's not really one area over another,'' Wedge said. ""Experience is important. He needs more at-bats. He handled himself well in the outfield in spring training, but it's the offensive side that's the toughest to master.'' [ep
   Wedge and General Manager Mark Shapiro have only begun talking about September callups. [ep
   ""We don't want to call someone up just to call him up,'' the manager said. ""We're scheduled to talk about it more seriously next week.'' [ep
    A QUESTION OF TIMING -- Jhonny Peralta was asked to play third base in winter ball, but when spring training arrived, he was back at his normal position, shortstop. [ep
   Only before mid-season did the Indians switch Peralta to third, moving Asdrubal Cabrera from second to short and installing Luis Valbuena at second. [ep
   ""Jhonny had been there (short) for a long time and Asdrubal was outstanding at second,'' manager Eric Wedge said, explaining the timing. ""Also, Valbuena needed a little more time in the minors.'' [ep
   Wedge insists that there was no grand design to move Peralta to third. [ep
  ""There was nothing predetermined,'' he said. ""We just knew it was a possibility,'' [ep
  What finally triggered the change?  [ep
   ""We felt that Valbuena was going to stick up here,'' Wedge said. ""And we felt the moves would make us stronger up the middle with Cabrera and Valbuena. We thought if we could commit to Jhonny at third and get rid of the uncertainty, he'd be able to help us there.'' [ep
   SHHH, OSMOSIS AT WORK -- Chris Gimenez was in the lineup Friday night, but he sits on the bench as much as he plays in his role as super utility player. [ep
   But does watching others play help him learn? [ep
   ""If you're getting something out of each day, and you should, you have a chance to stay here,'' Wedge said. ""If you're not, you should be somewhere else.'' [ep
   FARM FACTS -- Hector Rondon (4-2, 2.38 ERA) gave up one earned run (four total) and seven hits in 62/3 innings, as Columbus defeated Indianapolis 7-6. Jason Donald had three hits. *elip Tim Fedroff had a tirple, single and two RBI, and Doug Pickens hit a three-run homer in Kinston's 10-8 win voer Lynchburg. *elip  T.J. McFarland (7-4, 3.75 ERA) threw six scoreless innings, giving up three hits, as Lake County blanked Augusta 3-0. *elip Brett Brach pitched 51/3 shutout innings, but Mahoning Valley lost 2-1 to  Brooklyn. [ep

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Sowers hits a bump in the road

By Sheldon Published: August 13, 2009

CLEVELAND: Before facing the Rangers on Thursday, Jeremy Sowers was on a mini-roll, compiling a 2-0 record and 1.80 earned-run average in his previous three starts. ¶
   But he slipped back against Texas, losing 4-1 and failing to finish the sixth inning. Was it a totally wasteful outing? Not really. ¶
   Sowers was seriously damaged by Josh Hamilton's bloop double that drove in two runs in the third inning, though he put the runners on ahead of the Rangers' slugger. Sowers also gave up a solo homer to Elvis Andrus, who has only five for the season. ¶
   Still, if that's as bad as it gets for Sowers, he won't be making any more trips to the minors to correct his mechanics or his mental approach. ¶
   With only nine or 10 starts left in the season, what is Sowers hoping to accomplish? ¶
   ""I'd like to bounce back with another stretch of good outings,'' he said. ""I guess that would be the most important thing: create some good stretches.'' ¶
   Naturally, his agenda includes the standard starters' goals. ¶
   ""I want to pitch six or seven innings per start if not more,'' he said. ""And I want to give us a chance to win.'' ¶
   Actually, he did that Thursday, but the Tribe could do nothing against Texas' newfound pitching strength. ¶
   Like most pitchers, Sowers is at his best when he keeps the ball down in the strike zone, but that was a problem Thursday. ¶
   ""Commandwise, it was just one of those days,'' he said. ""But that's the way pitching is.'' ¶
   Sowers doesn't seem to be searching for answers, which is what he appeared to be doing early in the season, when inconsistency earned him a trip to Columbus for corrective measures. ¶
   Whatever lessons he learned at Triple-A, he doesn't need a prepared list of to-do things when he goes to the mound. ¶
   ""Do I have a mental list, no,'' he said. ""You just go start to start.'' ¶
   In other words, a starter must make in-the-moment adjustments according to whom he is facing and the situation in which he finds himself. ¶
   ""We know what it takes to be successul,'' Sowers said. ""It's a matter of execution. You know not to leave pitches over the plate, but sometimes it happens. Baseball is a game of incredible variables. A team can win 10-0 one day and come back the next against the same team and lose 10--0.'' ¶
   FALSE ALARM -- For the second time in four games, Travis Hafner was not in the lineup. Was something wrong with his surgically repaired shoulder? ¶
   ""He was just unavailable today,'' manager Eric Wedge said somewhat cryptically. ""That's the way it's going to be this year. We hope that he'll play all three games in Minnesota then have the off day.'' ¶
   Hafner has been getting periodic days off to allow continued healing of his shoulder. ¶
   ""This was just a scheduled off day for me,'' he said. ""I'm playing five out of six. My shoulder is improving as the season goes on.'' ¶
   HONOREES -- Five Mahoning Valley players have made the New York-Penn League All-Star Team: infielder Kyle Smith, outfielder Jordan Henry and right-handers Corey Burns, Marty Popham aqned Clayton Cook. The Scrappers have the best record (34-19) in the league. ¶
   MINOR LEAGUE DEAL -- Columbus infielder Andy Cannizaro has been traded to the White Sox for cash and has been placed on the Triple-A Charlotte roster by Chicago. Cannizaro has been on the minor-league disabled list. ¶
  FARM FACTS -- Matt LaPorta hit his 15th home run of the season in Columbus' 2-1 loss to Indianapolis. *elip Russell Young gave up one run and seven hits in five innings, as Kinston lost to Lynchburg 6-5. Lucas Montero had three hits and one RBI. *elip Nick Hagadone gave up two runs, one hit and two walks in 22/3 innings, as Lake County fell to Augusta 4-3.  Hagadone was a key acquisition in the deal that sent Victor Martinez to the Red Sox. *elip Kyle Bellows homered, tripled and drove in five runs, as Mahoning Valley routed Brooklyn 12-1. Greg Folgia had two hits and three RBI, and Clayton Cook (4-2, 2.06 ERA) pitched five scoreless innings.

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Bullpen better, but Perez, Lewis still shaky

By Sheldon Published: August 12, 2009

CLEVELAND: It took more than half a season, but the Indians' bullpen finally is becoming an asset.

Manager Eric Wedge credits the relievers' recent success to the rotation, at least in part.

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Westbrook shut down six more weeks

By Sheldon Published: August 11, 2009

CLEVELAND: Any hope the Indians had that Jake Westbrook would beat the healing curve disappeared Monday, when they received the report from Los Angeles orthopedist Lewis Yocum.

Monday, Westbrook visited the doctor who performed his right elbow reconstruction in June of 2008, because he was experiencing soreness in the elbow after his last rehabilitation start.

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8-11-09 Morning RoundUp

By jcfortun Published: August 11, 2009

INDIANS -- off. Open a three-game set against tonight against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field. Dollar Dog Night!

RED SOX 6, TIGERS 5 -- The Red Sox ended their recent offensive slump as Jason Bay, Nick Green and Dustin Pedroia all went deep.  BOX SCORE

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No. 15 pick White seeking top-five money

By jcfortun Published: August 10, 2009

Indians top draft pick Alex White is said to be seeking top-five type money, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.

The Cleveland Indians drafted White as the no. 15 pick in this year's amateur draft. The University of North Carolina right-hander was 8-4 last season with an 3.87 ERA in 107 innings. He struck out 121 and walked 44.

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Tribe still has something to play for

By Sheldon Published: August 10, 2009

The Indians have won 12 of their past 18 games and recently have taken two of three from each of the Central Division contenders: Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota.

If the Tribe were to continue to play at a .667 pace the rest of the season, it would finish with a plus .500 record of 82-80. But what would that mean in terms of fan response?

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A Gimenez by any other name

By Sheldon Published: August 9, 2009

CHICAGO: It's G as in George not G as in gorge and certainly not J as in Jose, even though that appears to be the most common mispronunciation. [ep
    It has been Chris Gimenez's lot in life to hear people call his name and wonder if they're talking to him or someone else. [ep
   The Indians' newest utility infielder/outfielder/catcher constantly listens to people -- even stadium public address announcers who should check -- say his name incorrectly. [ep
   How often do people mispronounce his name? [ep
   ""Just about all the time,'' Gimenez said. ""Usually, they say Jimenez (HIM-en-ez). It doesn't affect me -- it's like, "Let's see how bad you butcher it today.' Hopefully, not too bad.'' [ep
   If Jimenez is the No. 1 wrong way to say his name, Gimenez ( with a hard G as in great) is next on the list. [ep
   ""Even when I say it to people, they don't listen,'' Gimenez said. ""I have to spell it out. I feel bad for my fiance, because she's going to have to spell it to people too.'' [ep
   Correcting people's pronunciation is not Gimenez's favorite pastime. Most of the time, he just lets the faux pas pass without comment. [ep
   ""I just let it go unless they butcher it too bad,'' he said. [ep
    The derivation of his name is Spanish. In other words, at one time, it properly was pronounced Jimenez. But that was at least a three generations ago. [ep
   ""When my great grandfather came over here from Spain, we think that when he got to Ellis Island, they changed his name to make it sound more American,'' Gimenez said. [ep
    Would he ever change his name back to its original spelling and pronunciation? [ep
   ""If I ever did something like that my dad would rip me a new one,'' Gimenez said. ""When people say it wrong, I take it with a grain of salt. There's no reason to change it.'' [ep
   Gimenez has dealt with this kind of nuisance far longer than he's been in the public eye as a professional baseball player. [ep
   ""When I was a kid, everybody called me Gomez,'' he said. ""There was something about me in our hometown paper, the Gilroy (Calif.) Dispatch, when I was a freshman in high school, and they called me Gomez. From that time on, I was Gomez.''[ep
   Gimenez's teammates have no problem pronouncing his name. [ep
   ""Everybody in the clubhouse calls me "G,' '' he said. ""But they call Grady (Sizemore) "G,' too. We've talked about us getting mixed up. Maybe they should call us G-1 and G-2. At least everybody knows my name starts with a G.'' ¶
   ANOTHER GLITCH -- For the second time in his recovery process, Jake Westbrook has to cease throwing. ¶
   He was scratched from his start in Akron on Sunday and will visit Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles today to check on recent soreness in his elbow. Indians team doctors already had examined Westrbook, but Yocum is the doctor who did the surgery to reconstruct his right elbow last year. ¶
  The question is whether the pain Westbrook is experiencing is normal -- something he must learn to deal with as he continues to pitch -- or whether there is a structural problem that will need medical attention. ¶
    During his rehabilitation program, Westbrook was shut down for two weeks after feeling soreness in the elbow. He was expected to rejoin the Tribe rotation in about two weeks before this latest setback occurred. ¶
   WHO'S ON SECOND? -- Nobody is handing the everyday second base job to Luis Valbuena just yet, but when next spring training arrives, he will be the frontrunner. ¶
   ""The way he's playing now, he's earned a leg up on everybody else,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""He's doing a good job at the highest level, and he continues to get better.'' ¶
   When he was acquired from the Mariners last winter, Valbuena was touted as a good hitting prospect whose defense might be suspect. Instead, he has been solid in the field (at second and short) and has steadily become acclimated to major-league pitching. ¶
   Valbuena usually takes a seat when a lefthander is on the mound. ¶
   ""I think he'll be pretty good against righties and lefties,'' Wedge said. ""But sometimes he'll have to be protected against certain left-handers.'' ¶
   PROVING HIS POINT -- Lonnie Chisenhall's promotion from Kinston to Akron is backed by these Carolina League rankings: he led the league in RBI (79), was tied for third in home runs (18) and third in slugging percentage (.492), fourth in doubles (26), fifth in hits (107) and second in extra-base hits (46). ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Hector Rondon (3-2, 2.57 ERA) gave up one earned run (two total) and eight hits in six innings, but Columbus lost 2-1 to Buffalo. *elip Cord Phelps had three hits and one RBI in Kinston's 7-1 win over Salem. Recently acquired Scott Barnes pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. *elip T.J. House (4-8, 2.84 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing one hit and three walks, as Lake County defeated Lakewood 7-1. *elip Second-round draft pick Jason Kipnis hit his first home run of the season and singled in Mahoning Valley's 9-0 shutout of Vermont. Ninth-round choice Preston Guilmet (5-2, 2.72 ERA) pitched five scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out 10. ¶

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Slama slams door for New Britain as Rock Cats top Aeros 4-1

By sstorm Published: August 9, 2009

NEW BRITAIN 4, AKRON AEROS 1 KEY STATS: New Britain closer and RHP Anthony Slama notched his Eastern League-leading 25th save after coming in the game to get the final out of the eighth inning and facing five batters in the ninth...Aeros starter and RHP Connor Graham limited New Britain to three runs in six innings while striking out seven batters. However, Graham also issued four more walks, increasing his free-pass total to 11 in just 12 1/3 innings since joining the team. KEY MOMENTS: New Britain touched Graham for for a run in the first and two more in the third before he settled in for three scoreless innings...Akron's lone run came in the second on an RBI double by SS Carlos Rivero...The Aeros had two men on in the last two innings but could not push any runs across. STORM'S STARS: New Britain's Slama recorded a pair of saves in the three-games series to help the Rock Cats take the series two-games-to-one...Akron's Rivero batted .318 (7-for-22) with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI on the six-game homestand. UP NEXT: The Aeros will travel on their off day today headed to Connecticut to begin a six-game road trip with three games at Connecticut (San Francisco Giants) followed by three more at New Britain (minnesota Twins). Aeros right-hander Josh Tomlin (10-8, 4.21 ERA) and Defenders left-hander Jesse English (7-6, 3.62 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers for Tuesday's 6:35 p.m. game. RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Aeros top New Britain 11-7; Santana hits 20th homer

By sstorm Published: August 8, 2009

AKRON AEROS 11, NEW BRITAIN 7 KEY STATS: Aeros LF Nick Weglarz halted an 0-for-13 skid on the homestand with a home run in the third inning...The Aeros pounded New Britain starter Deolis Guerra for eight runs on eight hits over the first 3 1/3 innings. KEY MOMENTS: The Aeros scored at least one run in all but two innings...New Britain's only real threat came in the seventh inning when they touched Aeros reliever Matt Meyer for four runs to pull within four runs...Akron C Carlos Santana belted his team-leading 20th home run, a two-run shot in the eighth for added insurance. STORM'S STARS: Aeros starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez limited the Rock Cats to a run on three hits with seven strikeouts...Santana went 3-for-4 with with the homer, two doubles and three RBI as all but one starter notched at least one hit. NOTES: In his first exposure to Double-A, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall went 1-for-5 with a double. Chisenhall was called up after batting .276 with 18 home runs - including four grand slams - and 79 RBI in 99 games for the K-Tribe.
UP NEXT: The Aeros wrap up the home stand with a 1:35 p.m. game today against visiting New Britain (Minnesota Twins) at Canal Park. Aeros right-hander Connor Graham (0-0, 4.26 ERA) and Rock Cats right-hander Max Fox (6-8, 4.05 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers. RADIO: WARF (1350 am).

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Datz has plenty of helpers

By Sheldon Published: August 8, 2009

CHICAGO: Manager Eric Wedge was not scheduled to arrive for Saturday's game against the White Sox until shortly before first pitch, but he did not leave acting manager Jeff Datz, the Indians' bench coach, alone on an island to fend for himself. [ep
   ""I talked to Eric before he left town on Thursday,'' Datz said. ""We developed a tentative lineup for yesterday and today. If something drastic happened, I could change it.'' [ep
   Datz also talked to Wedge by phone around 1 p.m. Friday and again Saturday afternoon. [ep
   Wedge missed Friday's game to be with his wife, Kate, whose mother died earlier in the week. The funeral was Saturday morning in Buffalo, after which Wedge caught a plane for Chicago. [ep
    Datz said not having a formal bench coach for him to consult with was not a problem Friday night. [ep
   ""We all get together and talk,'' he said, referring to the other coaches, adding with a smile, ""I could ask myself a question, but I think I'd be in trouble in I answered back.'' [ep
   TWO IN A ROW -- Kelly Shoppach had not been behind the plate for two games in a row since July 26 and 27, but he started at catcher Friday and Saturday nights. [ep
   ""This is what Eric and I talked about before we came here,'' Datz said. ""Kelly was scheduled to catch the first two nights. Of course, it didn't hurt that he had a nice game last night.'' [ep
   Shoppach hit two home runs, singled and drove in four runs in the Tribe's 6-2 win against Chicago ace Mark Buehrle. [ep
   Today's catcher? ""Possibly, it will be Wyatt Toregas,'' Datz said. [ep
   WHOOPS -- Whether it was a rookie mistake or just a mistake doesn't really matter. Dropping a routine fly ball in the ninth inning is not recommended procedure. [ep
   That's what happened to Trevor Crowe with one out and nobody on Friday night. [ep
   ""I don't like to see that happen,'' Datz said. ""It should not happen at the professional level. We discussed it last night and today. [ep
   ""Fundamentally, Trevor was sound. He even had both hands up, he just clanked it. You have to make sure you look the ball into your glove before you think about throwing. I was telling him that before the game, because this is a ballpark where you can get a little swirling wind.'' [ep
   GOOD TIMING -- The Twins acquired Carl Pavano from the Tribe just in time for him to start against the Tigers Saturday night. [ep
   Pavano is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA against Detroit, so it was only natural that Twin Cities reporters would ask GM Bill Smith if that was a key reason for the trade. [ep
   ""This deal was not done with one team in mind,'' he said. [ep
   If Pavano continues to pile up innings and starts, he can add another $2 million to his $1.5 million base salary. The Twins and Indians will share the cost, with Minnesota paying about one third. He earned an additional $200,000 before the trade. [ep
   FARM FACTS -- Wes Hodges homered and singled, driving in two runs, but Columbus lost to Buffalo 4-3. *elip Tim Fedroff had two hits and two RBI, and Ole Sheldon homered and had two RBI, as Kinston beat Salem 9-1. *elip John Allman had three hits and two RBI, and Nate Recknagel had two hits and one RBI in Lake County's 8-4 win over Lakewood. [ep

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Aeros lose 9-6; Santana's hitting streak halted

By sstorm Published: August 7, 2009


KEY STATS: Aeros C Carlos Santana saw his career and Aeros season-high hitting streak snapped at 14 games with an 0-for-4 effort Friday. However, Santana walked, drove in a run and scored another.

"It looks like he's seeing the ball better," Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh said. "He's being selective yet aggressive at the plate. And recently, when he has gotten his pitch, he's squared the ball up. He's also taking advantage of some mistakes."

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Pavano traded to Minnesota for player to be named

By sstorm Published: August 7, 2009

Major League Baseball's trading dedaline may have ended a week ago, but the Indians continued to dump salary Friday by sending veteran starting pitcher Carl Pavano to the Minnesota Twins for the ever popular player to be named.
The Indians have until Sept. 15th to pick a Twins player to their liking - likely to be another young minor leaguer they can add to what the club has deemed its plan of "infusing young talent" into the system.
Below is some of the Indians official release, but check back in a little while to read Indians beat writer Sheldon Ocker's take on the trade. The Indians completed a trade with the Twins this afternoon, sending RHP Carl Pavano to Minnesota in exchange for a player to be named.
The Indians will receive this player on or before September 15.
Taking Pavano’s spot on the Tribe's 25-man roster is LHP and reliever Rafael Perez, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
Perez will begin his third stint with the Indians this season after going 1-0 with three saves and a 0.83 ERA in 16 appearances with the Clippers.
Since Perez's last option on July 8th, he has recorded one save and posted a 1.42 ERA in nine appearances with the Clippers.
Perez, who began the season on the Indians roster, is 1-2 with a 8.88 ERA in 31 appearances.
In 21 starts for the Tribe this season, Pavano went 9-8 with a 5.37 ERA after a signing a one-year Major League free agent contract January 6th.

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Aeros rally in ninth top Defenders 2-1

By sstorm Published: August 6, 2009


KEY STATS: Aeros catcher Carlos Santana improved his career and Aeros season-high hitting streak to 14 games with a one-out double down the right field line in the fourth inning...With the win, the Aeros take the series 2 games to 1.

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Paul Dolan makes his case

By Sheldon Published: August 6, 2009

It will be no easy task for the Indians to win back the fans whose disenchantment crested with the trades last week of Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez.

General Manager Mark Shapiro took his turn in facing media questions about the deals and Thursday, club president Paul Dolan, son of owner Larry Dolan, made the case for jettisoning the two impact players now rather than waiting a year, when they will be free agents.

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Aeros top Defenders 4-3 in extras; Berger joins team

By sstorm Published: August 5, 2009


KEY STATS: Aeros catcher Carlos Santana increased his career-high hitting streak to 13 games Wednesday with a first-inning base hit into shallow right field. He entered the night's action batting .429 with four doubles, four home runs, eight walks, 15 RBI and 10 runs scored over that stretch...Aeros pitchers issued an uncharacteristic six walks in the game.

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New reliever ready to go

By Sheldon Published: August 5, 2009

CLEVELAND: Apparently, Jess Todd is quick study.

In his first two minor league seasons with the Cardinals, he was a starter almost exclusively. Then he came to the spring training this year and got the word.

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8-05-09 Morning Round Up

By jcfortun Published: August 5, 2009

NOTE: It looks like I will no longer have access to posting the ESPN highlight videos on the blog. It comes as no real surprise today as ESPN also put the kabbash on Twitter yesterday.

The World Wide Leader wants to break news on its television shows and its Web Sites, and wants the audience at said places when it happens. The same concept applies to viral video and highlight packages I surmise.

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Aeros win streak snapped at seven; Westbrook throws

By sstorm Published: August 4, 2009


KEY STATS: Akron and Connecticut represent the the top two teams in the Eastern League as the Aeros entered Tuesday's action leading the Southern Division with 68-41 mark and a seven-game lead over second-place Reading. The Northern Division-leading Defenders were 63-45 with a 10-game lead over second-place Trenton...The loss snapped the Aeros season-high tying seven-game winning streak...The Defenders left 12 men on base and went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The Aeros weren't much better, however, stranding 11 runners and going 2-for-10 with RISP.

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Choo big hit in South Korea

By Sheldon Published: August 4, 2009

CLEVELAND: Chan Ho Park remains the reigning baseball icon in South Korea, but Shin-Soo Choo is gaining ground.

As the next big thing in Korean baseball circles, the Indians' right fielder has seen a quantum increase in the attention he receives from South Korean media members -- both print and electronic -- who have followed him from ballpark to ballpark.

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8-4-09 AL Central Roundup

By jcfortun Published: August 4, 2009

INDIANS -- off yesterday. Begin a a three-game set against the Twins today at Progessive Field.

TWINS -- off yesterday.

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Baseball America re-ranks Tribe prospects

By Ron Published: August 4, 2009

Jim Callis puts some order to what the trades of last week did for the Indians minor leagues. Here is the link.

Carlos Santana remains his No. 1 prospect in the Tribe's farm system.

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Aeros' Edell wins EL weekly honors

By sstorm Published: August 3, 2009

Left-handedpitcher Ryan Edell was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week Monday.

It is the fourth weekly award for an Aeros player this season as right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Nick Weglarz (twice) have also claimed the honor this season.

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Sizemore injury hangs on

By Sheldon Published: August 3, 2009

Grady Sizemore's batting average continues to hover below .230, but he says his elbow feels relatively strong.

"My elbow feels good,'' the Sizemore said. "It's just one of those things you have to deal with. You have to be careful that it doesn't cause bad habits that you have to overcome.''

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8-3-09 Morning Highlights

By jcfortun Published: August 3, 2009

INDIANS 11, TIGERS 1 -- Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera, Andy Marte and Trevor Crowe all drove in two runs while Indians starter Carl Pavano held the Tigers at Bay. Pavano scattered six hits over eight innings and struck out four. The Indians have eight of their last 12 games. BOX SCORE

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Tribe promotions help to keep crowds coming

By Sheldon Published: August 2, 2009

CLEVELAND: Walkup crowds of more than 4,500 descended on Progressive Field both Friday and Saturday, boosting attendance to 35,273 and 31,353, respectively.

What in the world was going on? Was there a sudden rush to the box office by Indians fans who were happy to see Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez traded?

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Who's no. 46?

By Sheldon Published: August 1, 2009

It wasn't quite a busload, but three players were added to the Indians' roster and two were given pink slips on Saturday.

As promised, newly acquired right-hander Justin Masterson was added to the team and reliever Jensen Lewis was called up from Triple-A Columbus, where he was sent June 26 to make adjustments to his delivery. In addition, Wyatt Toregas was summoned from Triple-A to add depth to the catching position.

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Victor with BoSox

By Ron Published: August 1, 2009

Victor Martinez made his debut Saturday with the Boston Red Sox, batting third and playing first base.

Here are some of his thoughts, according to the Associated Press.

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8-1-09 Morning Highlights

By jcfortun Published: August 1, 2009

INDIANS 6, TIGERS 5 (13 INNINGS) -- Jamey Carroll's RBI single in the 13th inning made the difference after Carlos Guillen tied the game at five with a two-run home run off of Indians closer Kerry Wood in the ninth inning. Fausto Carmona allowed two earned runs over five innings in his debut. BOX SCORE

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