Laffey promoted for relief help in 'pen
Club is expected to add a few more arms after Tuesday
KANSAS CITY -- The second wave of September callups is coming for the Indians, beginning with left-hander Aaron Laffey.With Triple-A Columbus having wrapped up an International League title on Friday night, the Tribe promoted Laffey on Saturday to add depth to the bullpen. It was not known if he'd make it to Kauffman Stadium in time to be available on Saturday. More reinforcements will be added after Tuesday, when Columbus faces Pacific Coast League champion Tacoma in the one-game Triple-A title game. The Indians opted to add Laffey, who has converted back to relief work following a bout with shoulder fatigue, now so that they can ease the stress on some other arms in the 'pen. "It's good for him and good for us to be able to have more bodies back there," manager Manny Acta said. "We'll be able to lessen the workload for some guys." Laffey was reinstated from his rehab assignment and optioned to Columbus on Aug. 31. After opening the season in the bullpen and getting optioned out in late May to get stretched out as a starter, he had been in the Tribe rotation from June 25 through July 19, before the shoulder fatigue, which caused a noticeable dip in velocity, forced a DL stint. Acta said Laffey's velocity is back in the upper 80s. Laffey didn't allow a run in his three appearances with the Clippers. He is 2-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 25 total appearances with the Tribe this year. "He hasn't been pitching as much as in the past," Acta said. "He's not going back-to-back [days] too much or pitching multiple innings."
Choo drives ball to all directions
KANSAS CITY -- When Shin-Soo Choo hit three home runs against the Royals on Friday night, he didn't just demonstrate his raw power. Choo also demonstrated that he has that power to all fields.Two of Choo's homers went out to right-center field, with the other to the opposite field in left-center. Of Choo's 19 home runs this season, three have gone to left field and three have gone to dead center. "He's a guy who enjoys hitting it out to the opposite field, manager Manny Acta said of Choo. "He knows he can hit it out, foul pole to foul pole. He does have that type of power." Choo also, during his impressive performance at Kauffman Stadium, showed that he has the power to hit out a wide array of pitches. The first home run came on a changeup from Kyle Davies, the grand slam came on a sinker from Bryan Bullington and the third homer came on a fastball from Greg Holland. "We tried everything," Royals catcher Brayan Pena said. "We came soft inside with a changeup, and he hit it out to right. We went hard and away with a two-seamer, not a bad pitch, and he hit it out to left. Then it was hard inside with a fastball." Because of this ability to torment opposing teams, Choo entered Saturday's game on the verge of hitting 20 homers for the second straight season. In fact, he was one home run and two stolen bases shy of reaching 20-20 status for the second time in as many years.
In club history, only three other Indians players, Grady Sizemore, Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, have attained the 20-20 mark multiple times in their career with the team.
Tribe playing numbers game with callups
KANSAS CITY -- How many more players can be expected to receive a September callup from Triple-A Columbus next week?"Between one and 100," Indians manager Manny Acta said before Saturday's game against the Royals. That hardly narrows it down, though Acta did reveal that the Indians aren't expecting to promote any other starting pitchers. That's bad news for David Huff, who opened the season in the Tribe's rotation, but is in his second stint with Columbus. Mitch Talbot, who played catch on Saturday as part of his return from right shoulder inflammation, is expected to rejoin the rotation on Thursday. "Unless things don't go the way we're expecting with Mitch, we're fine [in the rotation]," Acta said. More bullpen reinforcements wouldn't be a surprise, though the Indians currently have a full 40-man roster. So promoting either of the Clippers' two top relievers, Josh Judy (2.68 ERA in 38 appearances) or closer Vinnie Pestano (1.55 ERA and 14 saves in 43 appearances) would be complicated.
Lou Marson has thrown out 25 of 68 (36.8 percent) would-be basestealers, the best percentage in the AL. ... Michael Brantley took a 17-game hitting streak into Saturday's game. The last Indians rookie with a streak at least that long was Larry Doby in 1948. Doby's streak lasted 21 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Indians are averaging 2.43 walks per nine innings in September after averaging 3.82 walks per nine through Aug. 31.