Notes: Performance cost Sauerbeck
Wedge says recent off-the-field incident not a factor
CHICAGO -- Manager Eric Wedge insists it wasn't Scott Sauerbeck's recent arrest that led to his removal from the 25-man roster.It was Sauerbeck's performance, Wedge said. "This was strictly performance-related, on the field," Wedge said. "It's as simple as us feeling we had to make a change. Scotty's more of a left-handed specialist, obviously, and we didn't feel it was working out in those situations." The Tribe designated the veteran Sauerbeck for assignment Friday and promoted 24-year-old left-hander Rafael Perez from Double-A Akron. The move came 10 days after Sauerbeck was arrested for wrongful entrustment and obstructing official business in Sheffield Village, a west side suburb of Cleveland. The 34-year-old Sauerbeck let a female acquaintance, 28-year-old Lily Miller, drive his vehicle while intoxicated, and the pair allegedly attempted to hide from police behind bushes in a backyard. Sauerbeck, who is married, publicly apologized for the incident, and the Indians didn't discipline him. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. In four appearances after the arrest, Sauerbeck, a Cincinnati native, gave up four earned runs on two hits with two walks, raising his ERA by more than two full points. For the season, he went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 24 appearances. Left-handers hit .250 (6-for-24) with two home runs against him. "You thought you'd see signs [of Sauerbeck improving] from time to time, but there was never any consistency involved with it," Wedge said. "Ultimately, if you don't feel you can use a guy in that role, there's no role for him." The Indians have 10 days to trade or release Sauerbeck. Wedge said the organization has no plans to send him to the Minors to try to straighten him out. "I don't think that's something we're considering at this time," he said. Welcome back: Rafael Perez's first exposure to the big leagues was more of a tease than anything. Filling in temporarily while the Indians sorted out a bullpen debilitated by injuries to Rafael Betancourt and Matt Miller, Perez joined the team in Baltimore for all of two days, appearing in one game April 20 and pitching a perfect inning that included two strikeouts. Then it was back to Double-A Akron, where he's gone 4-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 12 starts this season, including a 2-1 mark with a 0.58 ERA over his last five starts. "I felt I made a step," Perez said through interpreter Rafael Betancourt, recalling his first callup. This step back into the Major Leagues could be a little more lengthy. Perez is the only left-hander in the Tribe's bullpen. But because of Perez's inexperience, he initially won't be used in quite the same mode as Sauerbeck once was, Wedge said. "We're not going to immediately use him in that role," Wedge said. "We're going to pick our spots with him and try to build on them." Here's the question: What shortstop holds the Indians team record for most double plays turned in one game? Down on the farm: Right-hander Rob Bell gave up only two runs on six hits over seven innings but took the loss in Triple-A Buffalo's 2-1 loss to Toledo on Thursday. Right-hander Ed Mujica pitched two scoreless innings of relief. He hasn't given up an earned run in 34 1/3 innings of work this season. Jason Dubois had the lone RBI for the Bisons. ... Left-hander Aaron Laffey, freshly transferred from Class A Kinston, gave up just one run on four hits over seven innings in his Double-A Akron debut, a 3-1 win over New Britain. Kevin Kouzmanoff went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a run scored. He's now batting .463. ... Kinston's game against Myrtle Beach was suspended by rain in the fourth inning. Right fielder Brian Barton is batting .314 and has reached base in 45 of the 49 games he's played this season. ... Class A Lake County right-hander Jim Deters (4-3) gave up a run on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings to get the victory in the Captains' 16-1 win over Lexington. Center fielder John Drennen went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Tribe tidbits: Sauerbeck had been the Indians representative to the players' union. That role will now be filled by right fielder Casey Blake, who will be assisted by right-hander Jake Westbrook. ... Travis Hafner has the most home runs (eight) and RBIs (25) in all of baseball vs. left-handed pitching. Eduardo Perez is tied for second with seven home runs and is second with 20 RBIs against left-handers. ... Ben Broussard is batting .519 with three homers and seven RBIs in seven June games. He entered Friday 16 at-bats shy of qualifying for the league batting leaders. His .365 average would be second in the AL to that of Joe Mauer (.379). ... The Indians will sponsor the second annual Umpires Clinic on July 29 at Jacobs Field. The clinic begins at 3 p.m. ET with instruction from Major League umpire and crew chief Randy Marsh. Tickets can be purchased by contacting John Bowers at (216) 420-4493 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And the answer is: Julio Franco helped turn five double plays for the Tribe on June 9, 1984. On deck: The Indians and White Sox have a Saturday matinee scheduled at U.S. Cellular Field. Left-hander C.C. Sabathia (5-2, 2.75 ERA) will get the 1:25 p.m. ET start opposite left-hander Mark Buehrle (6-4, 3.31). The game will be shown nationally on FOX.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.