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Cleveland Indians

Ohka's starts might be limited

By Sheldon Published: June 6, 2009

   CHICAGO: If the Indians can hang around the fringes of the Central Division race until the end of the month, disabled starters Jake Westbrook and Aaron Laffey probably will be ready to return to the rotation by July or a few days earlier. ¶
   Manager Eric Wedge has named Toma Ohka as the replacement for Fausto Carmona, who was optioned to the minors last week to work on his delivery and his mental approach. But with three off days in the next three weeks, Ohka might only have to pitch twice: June 13 against the Cardinals and June 27 against the Reds. ¶
  Even if Ohka's turn is skipped twice, the other four starters will be able to pitch on full four days rest. ¶
   ""We're talking about where to slot Ohka,'' Wedge said. ""But we really haven't gotten that far yet.'' ¶
   MOVE COMING -- Joe Smith struck out the side at Columbus Friday night during an appearance that probably signaled his readiness to come off the disabled list. ¶
   During his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A, Smith has pitched in four games and worked four scoreless innings, allowing two hits, one walk, while striking out six. ¶
   ""He's close,'' Wedge said. ""It probably will be in the next couple of days.'' ¶
   Smith has been on the DL with a right rotator cuff strain since May 2. ¶
   WESTBROOK UPDATE -- Jake Westbrook made his first rehab start for Akron on Saturday at Altoona, working three scoreless innings and allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out one. He threw 39 pitches. ¶
   OTHER STUFF -- Jamey Carroll is batting .357 in his past eight games. *elip Jeremy Sowers fell to 0-4 for his career against the White Sox. *elip The Tribe is 1-21 when it scores three or fewer runs. *elip Mark DeRosa is batting .314 in his past 18 games. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Eric Berger (3-4, 2.48 ERA) gave up two runs and six hits in five innings, but Kinston lost 4-1 to Winston-Salem in the first game of a doubleheader. In the second game, Russell Young gave up one run and five hits in six innings, as Kinston fell 2-1. Lonnie Chisenhall hit his 10th home run of the year. ¶

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