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03/29/09 5:37 PM ET
Dellucci injury might have implications
If tight calf doesn't improve, outfielder could be out of opening roster
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- It was a left thumb injury that slowed David Dellucci at the beginning of Spring Training camp, and it's a tight left calf muscle that's slowing him here in the final week. The latter injury could have implications on the Indians' Opening Day roster. If Dellucci's calf doesn't respond well to treatment, his spot on that roster could be in jeopardy, and the Indians might have to recall Trevor Crowe, who was just optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Saturday.
Dellucci was a last-minute scratch from Saturday's lineup against the Diamondbacks, and he did not play Sunday against the Cubs. Manager Eric Wedge said Dellucci was getting treatment at the Player Development Complex.
Wedge could not say whether the injury might land Dellucci on the disabled list.
"I don't know right now, to be honest with you," Wedge said. "It hit us so close to game time [Saturday]. He felt very similar [Sunday]. He's got to get a day of treatment, see if there's any response and then go from there."
Though he's due to make $4 million in this final year of his contract, Dellucci is in a tenuous position with the Tribe. Wedge said early in camp that he wanted to see signs of offensive improvement from Dellucci before he was willing to declare the veteran had a spot on the roster. Crowe was given an audition, of sorts, and he responded well, batting .289 (13-for-45) with a homer, three RBIs and six stolen bases in 17 spring games.
If Dellucci can't break camp with the club, it's also conceivable, though perhaps less likely, that veteran infielder Tony Graffanino could remain on-hand as a reserve, because Graffanino is still in big league camp.
Aside from the Dellucci situation, the only other matter of intrigue, where the Indians' roster is concerned, is with the final spot in the bullpen. That battle is down to left-hander Zach Jackson (6.87 ERA in six appearances) and right-hander Vinnie Chulk (1.72 ERA in nine appearances). Jackson was hit hard in a start against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, giving up five runs in four innings, and Chulk relieved him and was impressive in tossing three scoreless frames.
"It's not just that one day," Wedge said. "We look at everything. I don't think [Saturday] was necessarily good or bad for either one of those guys. We're working through some other things outside of that ... what we saw last year, where we're at now, how we see us breaking, how we look at the entire year. So we're going to still stay with that criteria. I think it's important to do that right now."
Wedge made it sound as if the bullpen winner would be announced either Monday or Tuesday.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.