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Cleveland Indians

Laffey making it tough on self

By Sheldon Published: July 4, 2009

   CLEVELAND -- It was supposed to be Aaron Laffey's last stop on the road to recovery, an 80 to 90-pitch start at Columbus Friday night .¶
   But in his fifth rehabilitation appearance, Laffey was pummeled for seven runs and 10 hits in only four innings. And that was his second clinker in a row. Last Sunday, pitching for Akron, Laffey gave up three runs, five hits and six walks in only 31/3 innings. ¶
   If he had made a stronger showing a week ago, Laffey (right oblique strain) probably would be on the Indians' roster already. Now that he has made two consecutive inferior appearances, his prospective start on Wednesday against the White Sox could be in jeopardy. ¶
   ""His line wasn't good last night, but he actually threw the ball better,'' manager Eric Wedge said Saturday. ""We're trying to decide how he will come back into our rotation. We're talking about it right now.'' ¶
   Part of the discussion might be how much effort Laffey put into has last two rehab starts, possibly believing the results were far less important as getting his work in. ¶
   ""His physical condition is first and foremost in our concerns,'' Wedge said. ""He felt good. Carl (pitching coach Carl Willis) has talked to him, and I've talked to him.'' ¶
   MAKING PROGRESS -- Assistant GM Chris Antonetti believes the Tribe is making progress toward signing its top pick in the draft, right-hander Alex White, and second rounder, outfielder Jason Kipnis.  ¶
   ""I think we'll be able to sign Kipnis pretty soon,'' Antonetti said. ¶
   Antonetti indicated that White was not a sure thing, but he was hopeful that he would agree to a deal before the Aug. 17 deadline. Any draft pick not signed by then goes back into the pool for next year's lottery. ¶
   IT'S OFFICIAL -- The Tribe added its newest reliever Winston Abreu to the roster and designated Matt Herges for assignment. ¶
   Wedge said he didn't know if Herges would be asked to accept an assignment to Triple-A if he cleared waivers or whether Herges would agree to come back. He can opt to become a free agent, if he chooses. ¶
   ""I don't know how that will play out,'' Wedge said. ¶
   Of the 32-year-old Abreu's potential, the manager said, ""His fastball will sit at 92-95, but the slider is probably his best pitch.'' ¶
   When Abreu makes his first Cleveland appearance, he will become the 26th pitcher used by the team this year. ¶
  STATUS QUO -- Wedge has no plans to move Travis Hafner back into the cleanup spot any time soon. ¶
   ""Shin-Soo Choo has done a good job in that role,'' the manager said. ""He's given Victor Martinez (batting third) lots of protection. Victor and Choo have been so good, I don't see any sense in moving anybody right now.''   ¶
   MINOR MOVE -- The Tribe has signed left-hander Bobby Livingston, 26, as s minor-league free agent and assigned him to Akron, where he will start today against Harrisburg. ¶
   He comes from the Orioles organization and has split the season between Double-A Bowie (6-2, 3.62 ERA) and Triple-A Norfolk (1-0, 1.80 ERA). He has appeared in 13 major-league games with the Mariners and Reds, compiling a 3-3 record and 6.31 ERA. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Rafael Betancourt threw one scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one, as Columbus lost 8-2 to Toledo. *elip Eric Berger (7-5, 2.13 ERA) threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk in Kinston's 7-0 win over Wilimington. *elip Jason Smit doubled, singled twice and drove in one run, as Mahoning Valley beat Jametown 10-2. John Allman had two hits and four RBI. *elip Jesus Brito homered and drove in two runs, as the Arizona League Indians tied 2-2 with the Giants. ¶

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