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06/03/08 12:32 AM ET
Westbrook headed to disabled list
Starter scratched from scheduled Tuesday start
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Jake Westbrook suffered an injury in his return to the rotation last week, and now he's returning to the 15-day disabled list. The Indians announced Monday that Westbrook will not make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Rangers. Instead, he will be placed on the DL with right elbow inflammation, retroactive to May 29. The club will make a corresponding roster move to bring up a pitcher from Triple-A Buffalo for Tuesday's game. Manager Eric Wedge said Monday night that Tuesday's starter had yet to be determined, and, with sixth starter Jeremy Sowers unavailable because of the seven innings he tossed Sunday, it was possible the Indians would use a host of relievers for the ballgame. "We've got to talk about it," Wedge said. "We've got a couple different options, and we've got to get somebody on their way." Westbrook felt soreness in his elbow after his start last Wednesday against the White Sox, in which he gave up three runs on five hits in five innings. Westbrook attempted to play catch in the days between starts, but the elbow did not respond properly. Westbrook made the trip with the Indians to Arlington, but he headed back to Cleveland for an MRI exam. The Indians will have a more accurate idea of how long they'll be without Westbrook after the MRI results are known. "Hopefully he just needs some time and we'll go from there," Wedge said. The Indians waited until just before Monday's game to make a decision on Westbrook. They didn't hold Sowers out of his Sunday start, because, in Wedge's words, they were "still optimistic" Westbrook was going to be fine. The start against the Sox was Westbrook's first since April 19. He had missed more than a month with a strained left intercostal muscle. This will be the third DL stint in two years for the 30-year-old Westbrook, who had a strained left abdominal muscle that kept him out of action for six weeks last season. The Indians have endured a rash of injuries in their rotation this season. In addition to the time Westbrook has already missed, Fausto Carmona was placed on the DL on May 24 with a left hip strain. Sowers isn't the only unavailable depth option. Right-hander Adam Miller had surgery to repair a strained tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand last week and could be done for the year, so he's scratched off the list of possibilities. That leaves the Indians with a very murky list of options for Tuesday's start. Right-hander Brian Slocum, who is on the 40-man roster, was just moved to the Bisons' bullpen after putting up a 3-4 record and 5.66 ERA in 11 starts. Right-hander Josh Tomlin, freshly promoted from Class A Kinston, was scheduled to take Slocum's starting spot for Buffalo on Tuesday. Right-hander Jeff Harris (2-3, 5.11 ERA in 11 appearances, including five starts) is Wednesday's scheduled starter for Buffalo. If the Indians go the reliever route, Tom Mastny was just called up from Buffalo on Monday to bring the relief corps back up to seven arms. The Indians are limited by the fact that Scott Elarton worked 3 2/3 innings and threw 61 pitches in relief of Paul Byrd on Sunday in Kansas City.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.