Wood's soreness considered minor; Sowers progressing

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com

Indians closer Kerry Wood was scratched from his scheduled appearance Saturday against the Rangers because of soreness near his throwing arm. But Wood said Sunday that he’s back on his normal spring schedule. He’ll throw a bullpen session Monday and is expected to appear in Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the Reds.

Wood said the soreness is actually in his lat muscle, which runs under the arm and across the back. He said it is minor and is something he typically deals with in Spring Training.

“I was playing catch [Saturday] and didn’t feel as good as I wanted to,” Wood said. “We were just being cautious.”

Also on the hurting hurler front, Jeremy Sowers, who is behind schedule this spring because of left shoulder soreness, threw a simulated session Saturday and is hoping to start appearing in Cactus games by the end of this week.

Sowers, though, has no idea if he’ll be competing for a spot in the Indians’ bullpen.

“The main concern was getting healthy, then worrying about everything else,” Sowers said. “We’re getting close to that spot. I still have some hurdles to pass over, in terms of building up my workload. It’s too soon to tell how my arm will respond to the stress of game situations.” 


even though we all assume he’s our 4th SP, Aaron Laffey’s statline yesterday was awful: 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 2/3 IP.

Right now David Huff is leading everyone for one of the two spots left. Mitch Talbot isn’t too far behind. Could we see Laffey jettisoned to Columbus in lieu of Huff and Talbot?

Laffey did get lit up a bit. However, in his 2.2 innings pitched, he did have 6 groundouts. AC mentioned on his Twitter that Laffey made the comment that “his pitches were dying as they got to the plate.” I’m not really sure what that is referencing. If he was talking about the movement on his fastball, I’m not overly worried. It appears it was working part of the time, anyway. Such is the problem with “contact pitchers.” If their pitches aren’t moving the way they want them to, they tend to get hammered. I still think it will be Laffey and Talbot in the rotation opening day….even though, I must admit, I’m a big fan of Huff.

fan or not, we should be encouraged by what Huff is doing even if it’s only spring training. Since Huff and Laffey both have options left why not keep the pitcher performing better if he continues to look sharp? I assume that Laffey will right the ship. His previous outing was impressive but Aaron tends to play this Jekyll and Hyde role from one start to the next just like last year. That concerns me a little.

another speculative point: if Branyan starts the year on the DL wouldn’t we have to assume that Brantley still goes down to Columbus? Wouldn’t that open the door for Crowe AND Kearns to earn a spot in the regular lineup? If Branyan does start the year on the DL and LaPorta hypothetically is healthy and plays at 1B, wouldn’t sending Brantley down for the “arbitration clock” issue still hold true? I would think so.

Well AM, your boy Huff got lit up worse than Laffey today. In my opinion the difference between Huff and Laffey, is that when Laffey is throwing well, he’s difficult to hit, when Huff is throwing well … he’s still not that difficult to hit–thus edge Laffey. Huff just doesn’t look deceptive at all. He throws that 89-91 mph fastball and like an 81 mph off speed pitch … also I doubt that Kearns is going to earn a spot. I watched the first couple innings of the game today, Fielder crushed one but right at Kearns, who just kind of stood there and jumped at the last minute and had it go over his head. And he looked bad at the plate, struck out twice against Gallardo. Looks like he was 0-3 with 3 strikeouts. It’s early, but so far Crowe and Brantley so far have outplayed Kearns by a mile. I think Brantley’s clearly the best guy they have for the outfield. If they think the Branyan’s just going to be held back for a couple weeks, maybe they go with Crowe, but if Branyan’s a lost cause, it’s probably better to just go with Brantley … I can’t believe this signed Branyan when he’s in this bad of shape.

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Laffey did get lit up a bit. However, in his 2.2 innings pitched, he did have 6 groundouts.“I was playing catch [Saturday] and didn’t feel as good as I wanted to,” Wood said. “We were just being cautious.”

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