Here’s wishing a happy Independence Day to you and yours. Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET game will be broadcast on WTAM and WKYC Channel 3.
INDIANS (32-49): SS Asdrubal Cabrera, CF Grady Sizemore, C Victor Martinez, RF Shin-Soo Choo, DH Travis Hafner, 3B Jhonny Peralta, 1B Ryan Garko, 2B Luis Valbuena, LF Ben Francisco. RHP Carl Pavano (6-7, 5.56).
ATHLETICS (33-44): 3B Adam Kennedy, SS Orlando Cabrera, LF Matt Holliday, 1B Jason Giambi, C Kurt Suzuki, DH Jack Cust, CF Ryan Sweeney, RF Travis Buck, 2B Mark Ellis. RHP Vin Mazzaro (2-3, 2.95).
The Indians and Rays have completed a trade of relievers. Triple-A right-hander John Meloan has been sent to the Rays in exchange for right-hander Winston Abreu, who will slot into the Tribe’s big-league bullpen in the coming days.
The 32-year-old Abreu has made 35 appearances in the Majors with the Orioles, Nationals and Rays since 2006, compiling an 0-1 record and 6.43 ERA. He pitched in the Japanese Pacific League in 2008.
Abreu, a fastball/slider pitcher, made two appearances for the Rays this year, allowing a run on three hits with two walks and tree strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Durham on June 14 and designated for assignment last week.
Abreu, a native of the Dominican Republic, has spent the bulk of his season at Durham, where he went 3-0 with a 1.41 ERA in 23 appearances. He’s walked 10 and struck out 49 in 32 innings.
Meloan was acquired in the trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers last season and converted to relief work. He’s posted a 5.52 ERA in 25 appearances this season and has been passed by on multiple bullpen moves.
A corresponding roster move to get Abreu on the 25-man roster will be announced when he officially joins the club.
A couple other notes today:
SEEING STARS: Three members of the Columbus Clippers will represent the International League at the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will take place July 15 in Portland, Ore.
Catcher Wyatt Toregas and infielders Jordan Brown and Andy Marte were picked from the Clippers’ roster. Toregas has always been solid behind the plate, but now he’s also batting .288 with an .808 OPS.
Brown and Marte have had strong seasons after being removed from the Indians’ 40-man roster. Brown is batting .326 with an .886 OPS, and Marte is batting .319 with an .878 OPS.
BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY: Regarding the Sports Illustrated poll in which Eric Wedge received 4 percent of the vote when players around MLB were asked which manager they’d least like to play for, it has come to my attention that Wedge also received 4 percent of the vote when players were asked which manager they’d most like to play for. It should also be noted that players could not vote for their own manager in either anonymous survey.
The more I let it rattle around in the hollow chamber that is my head, the more I sincerely love head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff’s response to the question as to whether or not Grady Sizemore will need arthroscopic elbow surgery at season’s end.
“There is a high index of suspicion for that,” Soloff told reporters Tuesday.
Soloff, who is a true pleasure to deal with (and those of us in the media have dealt with him quite a bit over the last two years), really gave us a gift with that line. Because, let’s face it, that is a much better quote to use in our stories than if he had said, “Yeah, probably.”
But if you asked a girl out, and she replied that there is “a high index of suspicion” that she will accept your invitation, would you feel confident that you were actually going to go out with her?
And furthermore, would you still want to go out with her after she said such a thing?
Something to chew on.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- The numbers were strong for Fausto Carmona again Tuesday night at Double-A Akron. He went seven innings, allowing just a run (a solo homer) on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Emphasis, of course, on the “no walks.” In his two Minor League starts, Carmona has a 0.66 ERA and the opposition is batting .114 off him.
- Wedge said he received positive reports about Carmona’s outing. “The progress has been pretty consistent with him,” Wedge said. But the Indians remain mum on Carmona’s timetable. All that’s certain is he will definitely get at least one more start in the Minors. I’d assume the Indians would want to see him at the Triple-A level at least once before they bring him back into the rotation, but that’s merely my own assumption.
- Obviously, the Indians won’t be able to totally gauge how much progress Carmona has made until he pitches at this level again. “Until you get to the highest level,” Wedge said, “it’s not 100 percent until you do it here.”
- Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) threw a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated session Wednesday. “I feel pain-free,” Betancourt said. “I feel good right now.” If Betancourt still feels good Thursday morning, he’ll likely join Aaron Laffey in a rehab appearance at Triple-A Columbus on Friday.
- Betancourt provided a little more detail about the extent of his injury. He said Dr. Mark Schickendantz told him the tendon in his right groin essentially exploded. Betancourt also said many hockey players get the tendon snipped so that it doesn’t bother them when skating. So while Betancourt will have missed a significant chunk of the season, when all is said and done, at least this Christmas he can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center without incident.
- As for Sizemore’s take on his potential need for surgery, he said, “Day to day, we’ll see how it feels.”
- Speaking of injuries, Mark DeRosa has strained a tendon in his wrist and will miss at least three or four games with the Cardinals. I’d say that trade has had rough early returns for both teams so far.
- The Double-A Akron Aeros are a (temporary) juggernaut. They had five players have been picked to play in the the Eastern League All-Star Game, which takes place July 15 in Trenton, N.J. Infielder Beau Mills and right-hander Hector Rondon were fan ballot selections, while catcher Carlos Santana, outfielder Nick Weglarz and right-hander Vinnie Pestano were also tabbed to represent the Southern Team.
- Kudos also go out to Columbus third baseman Andy Marte, who was named the International League’s batter of the week after hitting safely in each of his team’s six games for a .478 average and eight RBIs.
- Another 40-man roster castaway, Jordan Brown, also continues to tear it up at Triple-A. He’s hit safely in 20 of 24 games, and his .323 average and .409 slugging percentage are both the fourth-best in the International League.
- Lots of Nebraska football ties in the house tonight. Head coach Bo Pelini, a friend of broadcaster Matt Underwood, and Turner Gill, former Nebraska quarterback and Indians farmhand and current Buffalo head coach, are in attendance. Gill is scheduled to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
- Happy birthday wishes go out to Nate Mosack, manager at Bier Markt and Bar Cento on W. 25th Street (and both establishments are highly recommended).
UPDATE: Whoever posted the link was correct. I do dig this shirt.
UPDATE No. 2: Doesn’t look like the Shaq thing is happening.
Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game will be broadcast on WTAM and STO.
INDIANS (31-48): SS Asdrubal Cabrera, CF Grady Sizemore, C Victor Martinez, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 1B Ryan Garko, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco. LHP Jeremy Sowers (2-5, 5.44).
WHITE SOX (39-38): LF Scott Podsednik, SS Alexei Ramirez, RF Jermaine Dye, DH Jim Thome, 1B Paul Konerko, C Ramon Castro, 2B Jayson Nix, 3B Gordon Beckham, CF Brian Anderson. RHP Jose Contreras (2-7, 5.19).