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.
Wedge does not plan to go with four starters after Huff retires for the season, so someone -- or more than one pitcher -- from Columbus is virtually assured of taking the rest of Huff's starts, which could number as many as five.
""Well have that taken care of by then,'' Wedge said Saturday. ""But we don't want David to focus on that. We want him to focus on commanding his fastball asnd to continue learning.'' ¶
Only two Triple-A starters seem worthy of being promoted in September: Hector Rondon, the No. 1 pitching prospect in the upper levels of the organization and Carlos Carrasco, acquired from the Phillies in the deal for Cliff Lee. ¶
THE KARATE KID -- What did Wedge think of Kelly Shoppach snapping his bat over his knee after striking out Friday night on a pitch around his shoulders? ¶
""I didn't really care as long as nobody got hurt,'' the manager said. ""I know one thing: If you go that route, you better do it (break the bat). Otherwise you leave yourself wide open.'' ¶
Wedge made sure to get the bat halves off the field quickly. ¶
""I told the bat boy to go get it,' he said, adding, ""It's been a long year.'' ¶
WHAT'S THE CATCH? -- Rookie Chris Gimenez, being groomed as the Tribe's super utility player, will have his time behind the plate trimmed. Why? ¶
""We want to play Kelly Shoppach more and give Wyatt Torega a look,'' Wedge said. ""But Chris will still get opportunities here and there.'' ¶
Gimenez has had problems get untracked at the plate, batting .161 going into Saturday night's game against the Mariners. ¶
""He's actually been swinging the bat better than most people give him credit for,'' Wedge said. ¶
FARM FACTS -- Carlos Carrasco (10-10, 4.80 ERA) gave up three earned runs (four total) and five hits in 62/3 innings, as Columbus lost to Toledo 4-1. *elip Paolo Espino (6-56, 2.55 ERA) pitched five shutout innings, allowing five hits, four walks and striking out seven, as Kinston defeated Wilmington 4-1. *elip Jason Knapp gave up one earned run (two total) and one hit, as Lake County beat Delmarva 7-6. Mark Thompson homered, doubled and singled, driving in four runs.
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