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Cleveland Indians

Wedge treating LaPorta with care

By Sheldon Published: September 26, 2009

Manager Eric Wedge did not want to take a chance on aggravating Matt LaPorta's inflamed left hip in wet weather and left him out of the lineup Saturday night.

""It's tough to put him in there with this rain,'' Wedge said. ""I don't want to lose him for the rest of the season.''

After missing two games, LaPorta spent Friday night in the lineup as the designated hitter. He has yet to take ground balls, and he might finish out the schedule without playing first base.

""He's a little better, but I don't think he'll be 100 percent the rest of the year,'' Wedge said.

Wedge also was asked whether he thought the hip might be an issue in the off season.

""It's something that's there,'' he said. ""I don't know where it's going to go.''

LaPorta sustained the injury trying to score from second on Trevor Crowe's single.

ONE MORE TIME -- Joe Smith (left knee sprain) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today as a prelude to being activated from the disabled list.

""If all goes well, we'll have the opportunity to get him back,'' Wedge said.

Both Smith and Wedge feel it's important that Smith make one or two relief appearances before the off season.

SO FAR, SO GOOD -- Lou Marson might end up being the Indians' everyday catcher next year, despite his inexperience. To this point -- 10 games into his Cleveland career -- Wedge likes what he sees.

""He handles himself very well behind the plate,'' the manager said. ""Of course, it's tough to judge anything until we've seen him awhile. But he has a presence and as a catcher, he has a great deal of confidence.''

Marson doesn't seem to take anything for granted. He understands that catching some pitchers will be more difficult than receiving the ball from others.

""You have to be ready all the time with Fausto (Carmona),'' he said, referring to the extreme movement on Carmona's pitches. ""It's like catching (Justin) Masterson. Both of them definitely have very good stuff.''

AMONG THE BEST -- Never mind the Tribe's sad record, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera are among the American League leaders in a couple of hitting categories.

With a .303 average going into Saturday night's action, Choo is 13th in the league in batting. Cabrera is 15th with a .302 average and ranks 11th in doubles with 39.

NEGATIVE NUMBER -- When the Indians charged ahead 2-0 in the third inning Friday night against the Orioles, it was the first time they had taken a lead in 70 innings. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that was the longest such streak by the Tribe in 105 years, since the 1904 club played eight full games without getting a lead.

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