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Cleveland Indians

Who will get the call for a spot start against the Tigers?

By Sheldon Published: July 8, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.: Manager Manny Acta will not change the order of the Indians' rotation coming out of the All-Star break, contrary to the practice of his predeccesor, Eric Wedge, who often shuffled his starters at the outset of the second half of the season.

""No, we'll keep it the same,'' Acta said Thursday, before the Tribe took on the Rays at Tropicana Field.

However, there will be one complication when the schedule resumes for Cleveland next Friday at Progressive Field, where the Tigers visit for four games, including a makeup, day-night, separate admission doubleheader July 17.

Following the All-Star Game, the Indians will play seven games without a break. After the series with Detroit, the Tribe will visit Minnesota for three games beginning July 19.

Consequently, the makeup doubleheader will necessitate finding another starter. It's unlikely that a reliever already on the staff wsill be pressed into service to start. Nobody in the bullpen is accustomed to pitching more than two innings at a time.

That means delving into the supply of pitchers at Columbus. Acta has spoken often about the plan to bring up Carlos Carrasco at some point and insterting him into the rotation for an extended triasl. The question is whether the timing is right for that move?

All five of Cledvdeland's starters hadve been pitching relatively well: Jake Westbrook, Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot, Aaron Laffey, as well as Carmona. If someone were forced to pick a starter to remove from the rotation, it might be Laffey, but he has performed well enough to keep him in the mix.

Of course, Carrasco could be brought up for one spot starter and returned to Triple-A to await the moment he will be summoned for the longer term. Or club officials might opt to test one of the other Columbus starters, such as David Huff or Josh Tomlin, who has the been the Clippers' most effective and most consistent starter throughout the season.

Tomlin doesn't have the live arm of Carrasco or even Huff, but he might have the maturity -- not unlike Talbot -- to be effective in the big leagues. Maybe the Indians will take this opportunity to find out.

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