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Cleveland Indians

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.

House has helped Reyes with his mechanics, particularly in keeping his right elbow out of harm's way. Not many weeks after the Tribe acquired Reyes from the St. Louis Cardinals last summer, they shut him down, fearful that elbow soreness might turn into a serious problem.

Rest and rehabilitation have resolved the elbow problem. House has also helped.

``The first day I went out there, he said I was flying open,'' Reyes said. ``He called me a dummy and an idiot. He makes you feel better about pitching, because he sees things right away.''

When a pitcher is ``flying open,'' his arm drags behind his body, putting extra stress on the elbow.

Reyes has made other minor changes: shifting his feet from the right side of the rubber to the center, and uses a video of his 2004-2005 mechanics as a guide for what he's doing right.

``I'm going to watch it a lot,'' he said. ``I'll look at it the night before I pitch then go to sleep and watch it again in the morning.''

Reyes said consulting a someone outside the Tribe organization will not erode his relationship with Indians pitching coach Carl Willis.

``It's not interfering,'' Reyes said. ``I'm doing what they want me to do first. I'm here working with Carl.''

In first second spring outing, Reyes gave up no runs and three hits to the Kansas City Royals.

STILL STRUGGLING -- Edward Mujica entered Tuesday's game in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and gave up a grand slam to Alex Gordon then yielded a home run to the next batter, John Buck.

By the time Mujica left after the sixth, he had allowed three runs and four hits, as the Royals and Indians played to a 9-9 tie in 10 innings Tuesday.

Mujica has made three appearances, none of them pretty, giving up eight runs, nine hits and four homers in 32/3 innings.

``I think he's just trying to do too much,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ``When he does that, he gets the ball up. You root for the kid. You want him to have the opportunity to make the team.''

Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homer, a run-scoring double and a single. Ryan Garko, Josh Barfield, Michael Aubrey  and Trevor Crowe each singled twice, and Kelly Shoppach homered.

Shortstop Carlos Rivero, up from the early minor-league camp, doubled and singled.

FLY BY -- Cliff Lee will take a ride in an F-16 fighter jet Thursday, one day before he makes his first start of the spring.

After taping a public service announcement for nearby Luke Air Force Base's open house and air show, Lee was asked if he would like to fly with flight instructor Maj. Dan ``Dutch'' Munter.

Is Wedge worried about the his Cy Young Award winner? ``I'm sure the guy will throw up all over the place,'' he said. ``Other than that, no.''

ON TRACK -- Travis Hafner remains the prospective DH on Friday, and David Dellucci likely will make his debut in the lineup the same day.

``Hafner is very focused and serious about his job,'' Wedge said.

PUSHED BACK -- Grady Sizemore (strained groin) will not return to the lineup as a DH today, as originally planned.

``There's a good chance we''ll use him after the off day (Thursday) instead of DHing him tomorrow,'' Wedge said.

MARCHING ONWARD -- The Indians return to Goodyear Ballpark this afternoon to play the Chicago Cubs. Carl Pavano will start against Chad Gaudin. Fausto Carmona, Scott Lewis, Jensen Lewis, Juan Salas, Vinny Chulk, Rich Rundles and Ryan Edell are scheduled to follow Pavano.

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