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Cleveland Indians

Wedge hopes to stabilize lineup

By Sheldon Published: June 28, 2009

  CLEVELAND: Mark DeRosa is gone, but manager Eric Wedge still has plenty of players with which he can mix and match in the Indians' infield. ¶
    However, now that DeRosa has been traded to the Cardinals and the Tribe has gotten three regulars back from the disabled list, Wedge is looking to stabilize his lineup rather than continue to fill certain positions with three different players. ¶
   Asdrubal Cabrera was activated from the DL Sunday, joining Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore as returning everyday players who were sidelined with injuries for at least a month. There are temporary restrictions on how much they play, but at least they can play. ¶
   Luis Valbuena, who has been playing mostly shortstop lately, will move back to second, and Cabrera will return to short, where he has been the regular since Jhonny Peralta moved to third several weeks ago. ¶
   Jamey Carroll will no longer play every day, though he will get more than a few reps at both second and third. ¶
   ""I think the dynamic can work very well,'' Wedge said. ""We can pretty much do whatever we want with those three guys.'' ¶
   Sizemore will be in center field every day. In his absence, Ben Francisco played there most of the time, but he has been mired in a slump. Shin-Soo Choo has taken over right field, but left still is unsettled. ¶
   DeRosa played left 12 times, but Francisco has played there more than anyone else. However, unless his bat comes around, first baseman Ryan Garko, who has started in left five times, might see more time there. ¶
  ""I'm looking forward to having a more consistent lineup,'' Wedge said. ""Hopefully, guys will be able to play more on an everyday basis. We're going to catch our breath now, and these guys are going to get it all together.'' ¶
   Wedge did mention one cautionary note: The bullpen had to improve and the starters were going to have to pitch more than five innings to give the relievers a better chance to succeed without wearing themselves out. ¶
   THE DIFFERENCE -- Trading Mark DeRosa to St. Louis Saturday night is not comparable to trading C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee last year. ¶
   Who says? ¶
   ""This year is different than last year,'' Kelly Shoppach saidc. ""Last year, we got prospects for C.C. Yes, we're going to miss DeRosa, but we brought in a buy who can help us now (reliever Chris Perez). We all want to win. Whether we can still get back in this, we want to win now.'' ¶
  Added manager Eric Wedge, ""It's completely different. We're trying to get better in an area of need. If we can get our bullpen in order and get more out of our starting pitchers, we can get better in a hurry.'' ¶
   NL WOES -- The Indians completed interleague play Sunday with a 5-13 record, including 2-4 against the Reds. Since the outset of interleague play in 1997, the Tribe is 113-116 against the National League. ¶
   ""We've got to do better against the National League,'' Wedge said. ""I'm glad it's (interleague play) is over, because we didn't play well.'' ¶
   DWINDLING DL --- The Tribe's disabled list shrunk to five after Asdrubal Cabrera was activated on Sunday. ¶
   Cabrera sustained a strained AC (shoulder) joint on June 2 and went on the DL the next day. He returned to the leadoff spot in the lineup and singled in his first at-bat. ¶
   Saturday night's trade of Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals Saturday night opened up a roster spot for Cabrera. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Russell Young gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings, but Kinston lost 3-2 to Salem. *elip Delvi Cid doubled and singled twice in Lake County's 4-3 loss to Hagerstown. Danny Salazar gave up one earned run (two total) and six hits in five innings. ¶

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