Three hopefuls for last two rotation spots
Sowers' injury leaves Huff, Laffey, Talbot as front-runners
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jeremy Sowers is progressing well in his recovery from left shoulder soreness, but not well enough to be considered a candidate for the Indians' two rotation vacancies.Pitching coach Tim Belcher said the hope is for Sowers, who is throwing bullpen sessions every third day, to get into Cactus League games by March 18 or 19, which would be too late to get him stretched out and ready for the start of the regular season, from a starting standpoint. Sowers, who is out of Minor League options, could open the season on the disabled list or potentially compete for a bullpen spot. "I wouldn't anticipate that we'd feel comfortable throwing him out there [as a starter] the first week of the season," Belcher said. The Indians have already promised rotation spots to Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson. So if you're scoring at home, and you're in a generous mood, the number of candidates for the final two spots is down to five -- right-handers Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco and Hector Rondon and left-handers Aaron Laffey and David Huff. If you're being realistic, you know that Carrasco and Rondon are likely ticketed for Triple-A Columbus at the outset of the season, leaving the Indians with three candidates for two spots. The battle between Laffey, Huff and Talbot began in earnest this weekend, in a two-game set with the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. Each member of the trio turned in a pair of scoreless innings against the Reds. "They're all tied for first," manager Manny Acta said. "They all pitched well." On Saturday, it was Huff and Talbot toeing the rubber for the Tribe. Huff demonstrated the stuff that helped him win a team-high 11 games as a rookie last year, while Talbot, also out of Minor League options, showed the stuff that made the Indians target him in the trade that sent Kelly Shoppach to the Rays.
2010 Spring Training - Cleveland Indians
News & Features
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.