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09/06/08 12:28 AM ET

Reyes exits with sore right elbow

Indians right-hander optimistic about making next start

KANSAS CITY -- Anthony Reyes said he's confident he'll make his next scheduled start Wednesday in Baltimore.

Manager Eric Wedge, on the other hand, was a little more guarded with his predictions after removing Reyes three innings into his outing against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Reyes was experiencing right elbow soreness, and the Indians opted not to push him beyond his third scoreless inning of work.

"We could have pushed him for five or six innings," Wedge said. "But it's a little cooler tonight, and we didn't see any sense in trying to push him. ... We hope it's nothing too serious, but we have to err on the conservative side."

The Indians will evaluate Reyes on Saturday and Sunday to determine if he'll be able to make his next start. Wedge said he wasn't sure if Reyes would receive an MRI on the elbow, which was wrapped in a sleeve postgame.

Reyes was on the Cardinals' disabled list from June 16 to July 5 with a right elbow strain. He said this injury is different than that one.

"That [previous injury] was from flip-flopping between starting and relieving," he said. "I wasn't used to that."

This elbow problem sprouted up during Reyes' pregame warmup session in the bullpen.

"It was a little stiff," he said. "I tried to do everything I could to loosen up, but it just wasn't happening. We're just being cautious and trying not to push it too much."

Although his acquisition just before the July 31 Trade Deadline was a quiet one, Reyes has turned out to be quite a find for the Indians. He went 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA in five August starts. The ERA was the third best in the league in the month of August.

Reyes worked three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk, before leaving this start. The Indians turned to reliever Ed Mujica in an emergency, and he turned in two scoreless innings to get the win.

If the Reyes injury is serious, the Indians' backup options for starters are slim. The club had considered calling up left-hander Aaron Laffey in September and going with a six-man rotation but instead opted to shut Laffey down because of left elbow soreness.

One possible option is left-hander Scott Lewis, who is on the 40-man roster and still active in the postseason at Double-A Akron. As far as the active roster is concerned, Brian Slocum has starting experience, but he's been a reliever much of this season.

Wedge said the Indians had not yet discussed their backup options should Reyes need to be shut down.

For now, Reyes believes he can make his next start, albeit with some tweaks to his routine.

"I'll have to modify some things," he said. "I might take a [between-start] bullpen [session] off and modify my lifting a little bit and see if that helps."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.