Indians notes from Sept. 25. UPDATE: Adds item on Choo.
Perhaps, for just a fleeing moment, Indians Manager Eric Wedge thought his job was going to get easier. Cleveland clinched the Central Division championship Sunday afternoon, but there were still seven games to be played before the season ends. That means Wedge must now balance the importance of resting his players before the postseason with the importance of trying to conclude the regular season with the best record in the American League. “It’s a fine line,” Wedge said. “You’ve got to do both.” The AL team that finishes with the best record can choose whether to play a Division Series spanning seven days or eight. That could prove to be vital for Cleveland. The eight-day schedule would allow both Cy Young Award candidate C.C. Sabathia and league ERA leader Fausto Carmona to pitch twice on regular rest. “It’s important for us to go for that,” Wedge acknowledged. “You want to play your (other) players and give some guys time off too. We’re going to do both.” Grady Sizemore, Casey Blake, Franklin Gutierrez and Asdrubal Cabrera were all on the bench when the Indians took the field Tuesday night in Seattle. Wedge said he was trying to give those players the benefit of back-to-back days off. “Two days off really allows your body to recover,” Wedge said. One thing that won’t be up for debate, Wedge said, is the effort that will be expected. “In regard to how we play the game, how we look at each day, nothing changes,” Wedge said. “These guys know how to play one way -- first and foremost, win.” Coming Up The series continues with a traditional doubleheader today beginning at 7:05 p.m. LHP Ryan Feierabend (1-5, 7.33) and LHP Jarrod Washburn (10-15, 4.36) will start for Seattle. RHP Fausto Carmona (18-8, 3.03) and LHP Jeremy Sowers (1-6, 6.93) will start for the Indians. Gimme the Ball Indians pitching coach Carl Willis said LHP Aaron Laffey, Tuesday’s starter, will also start the regular-season finale Sunday in Kansas City. Willis said RHP Fausto Carmona will not pitch in that game. “It will be good for Fausto to get a little breather,” Willis said. Carmona will make his final regular-season appearance during the opener of today’s doubleheader, then start Game 2 of the Division Series. Home Boy Ohio native Ryan Feierabend will start for the Mariners in today’s doubleheader. He was a high school baseball and basketball standout at Grafton Midview before being taken in the third round (86th overall pick) of the 2003 draft by Seattle. Feierabend is expected to contend for a spot in the Mariners’ 2008 starting rotation. Knotted Up If there is a three-way tie for the best record in the American League, the tie is broken by determining the best winning percentage in games against the other two teams. Cleveland was 5-5 against the Angels, 2-5 against Boston and 0-6 against New York. If there is a four-way tie, the East Division champion will first be determined, then the remaining three teams are broken using the previously mentioned criteria. Wearing the Crown Only Atlanta (11) and the New York Yankees (10) have won more division titles than the Indians (7) since the present division format was adopted in 1994. Smells Like Victory
Wedge was asked if he still smelled like champagne and beer from Sunday’s celebration. “No, but I’ve still got chocolate cream pie up my nose,” Wedge said. “That might take awhile.”
Under the Knife
OF Shin-Soo Choo had Tommy John elbow surgery Tuesday in
Anaheim. The surgery was successful, according to the Indians, but Choo will
be limited in his spring-training participation and will not resume full
baseball activities until sometime in April. Choo played in only six games
for Cleveland, spending the majority of the season in Triple-A Buffalo.