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Cleveland Indians

Westbrook reaches milestone

By Sheldon Published: March 13, 2009

Jake Westbrook and Adam Miller are both out of the picture in terms of winning immediate jobs on the Indians' pitching staff.

They have two other things in common: They are trying to overcome injuries, and Tribe officials wish both of them were healthy enough to pitch right now.

Westbrook is working his way back from elbow reconstruction surgery and reached a major plateau Friday by throwing off a regulation mound for the first time in his rehab program (He had previously thrown off a mini-mound, five inches short of regulation height).

""I felt great,'' Westbrook said. ""I was super excited about it.''

Westbrook threw 10 pitches in front of the mound and 15 from the rubber. All 25 pitches were fastballs, and he did not throw with maximum effort.

""I don't know what percentage you'd call it,'' he said. "It was nice and easy. Maybe around 80 percent.''

Westbrook will do it again on Monday.

Miller was in the second day of his throwing program after being shut down more than two weeks ago, when his surgically repaired right middle finger began to ache.

On Friday, he played catch from 75 feet and might move back to 90 on Sunday.

""I felt pretty good,'' he said.

Asked if he still feels any pain in the finger, Miller said, ""It's not the same as it was. I don't know how to describe it. It's not really sore anymore.''

Miller might have time to compete for a spot in the bullpen if his rehab stays on schedule.

VICTORY -- The Tribe held on to beat the A's 4-3, as Kelly Shoppach led the attack with two singles and one RBI.

Jamey Carroll, Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko drove in the other runs.

THE BIG STAGE -- Two early-season games against the Yankees are on the WTBS Sunday afternoon schedule.

The first is the April 19, 1 p.m. contest at Yankee Stadium; the second is the May 31, 12:30 p.m. game at Progressive Field.

MARCHING ONWARD -- The Indians travel to Peoria this afternoon to play the Padres. Fausto Carmona will start against Cha Seung Baek with David Huff, Joe Smith, Kirk Saarloos, Matt Herges and Ryan Edell set to follow Carmona.

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