Posted on: July 16, 2010 8:15 pm

Twitter may cost Indians minor leaguer

Twitter has at least one fewer user today, as Indians minor leaguer David Huff deleted his account after a the team was unhappy someone using his account announced he'd start for the Indians on Sunday.

Dennis Manoloff of the Plain Dealer has the details :
A message from David Huff's twitter account Friday afternoon stated that he will be the Indians' spot starter Sunday against the Tigers.

But Huff, who is with Class AAA Columbus, told The Plain Dealer later in the day that he never tweeted as such and that somebody must haveimpersonated him. Huff said he was reaching out to the Indians to explain.

Tribe manager Manny Acta, informed of Huff's tweet during his pregame meeting with reporters, said: "We're going to need a spot starter for Sunday. We're still working through it. It's not finalized, and David is one of the candidates."
That account, @DHuff11m has been deleted and pitching coach Tim Belcher tells MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince that Huff's call-up "may or may not happen" as a result of the Twitter affair. If Huff doesn't start Sunday, Josh Tomlin could get the call.

The lesson -- which should have been very clear by now -- is if your boss tells you not to announce something, don't put it on the interwebs.
There are smart ways for athletes to leverage social media -- Chad Ochocinco went from a malcontent to a TV star in one season on Twitter - it's even a good way to keep fans, family and friends up to date with your comings and goings, but you must remember that even your bosses know about Twitter, Facebook and MySpace -- oh, and if you're still on MySpace, you may not want your bosses to know about that. Or Chris Hansen.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:50 am

Baseball reacts to LeBron news ... sort of

LeBron James Since the world apparently revolves around LeBron James, the basketball star who now plays for ... was it Vitamin Water? ESPN? It all seemed like a blur. Anyway, here is your obligatory "baseball players react to news" item:

* The Marlins are happy. Hanley Ramirez held up a "Welcome LeBron" sign for TV cameras. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said, "It's going to be big. It's going to be huge ... I'm not a big [NBA] fan."

* The Indians are ... actually the Indians don't seem to care much.

"It's crazy; it's going to change up a lot of stuff," reliever Chris Perez said. "I'm sure Cleveland's not very happy about it -- it's a hometown guy that's leaving -- but it's a business. And he left money on the table, so obviously it's not all about the money, it was about winning, and Miami gave him the best chance, I guess."

"I don't even know what happened," center fielder Michael Brantley said. "[Miami's] a good choice for him, I guess."

* Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is one of James' close friends, and James angered fans in Cleveland by frequently being seen in a Yankees cap (though, as seen in this photo, he gave the Indians some love as well). He reportedly worked hard to try to convince James to join the Knicks, but to no avail.

"I'm happy for him," Sabathia said in a statement (seriously, there might be no better example of how ridiculous this thing became than the fact that a baseball pitcher was called upon to release a statement with his reaction to a basketball player choosing what team to play for). "He made a decision and it had a lot to do with trying to win a championship. You can't fault him for that. I do feel bad for the city of Cleveland, though. He meant a lot to that city and the people there."

More reactions as they become available. OK, probably not.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:43 am
Edited on: July 8, 2010 11:44 am

Indians' Wood ready for trade talk

There's not exactly the same kind of hand-wringing in Cleveland about the possible departure of Kerry Wood as there is over some other guy.

Wood isn't headed to Miami, but there are plenty of other possible destinations -- including the Knicks. Everyone needs bullpen help, and Wood is a free agent after the season.

Wood told the Akron Beacon Journal 's Sheldon Ocker that he understands he's prepared to be traded.

"It depends on what teams want," Wood said. "But ultimately we all play this game to win. I probably wouldn't complain a whole lot [about going to a contender]."

Wood is closing for the Indians, but would be unlikely to be a closer for a good team. He has eight saves and a 6.27 ERA.

"It doesn't need to be a closing situation," Wood said "Some teams might need help in the eighth inning. But I can't worry about that. I have to keep going out there and putting up zeroes."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2010 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 7:23 pm

Dodgers searching for pitching

Roy Oswalt The Dodgers have spoken to the Astros, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Indians and Mariners about solutions to the Dodgers' pitching conundrum, reports Evan Drellich of MLB.com. The Dodgers need both starters and relievers.

Manager Joe Torre said that pitching is what the Dodgers are focusing on in any particular deal and expects a deal to eventually be swung. Complicating things is that Los Angeles doesn't have much left in the budget to add, thanks to the brewing divorce between owner Frank McCourt and his wife as well as a current payroll of $102 million according to Cot's Contracts.

So which pitchers could the Dodgers get from the aforementioned teams? Let's take a look.

Astros: Houston has starting pitcher Brett Myers available who is on a one-year deal and has been the second-best starter on the team with a 3.57 ERA. Of course, there's also Roy Oswalt (pictured), who has a standing trade "request" but is due $15 million over the balance of 2010 and $16 million in 2011. And who's to say Oswalt won't demand the $16 million team option for 2012 be picked up if he's traded? With a full no-trade clause, Oswalt has that ability.

The Astros also have a number of relief arms, but none that stand out as an optimal replacement for the Dodgers' current arms -- at least, that would be available. Brandon Lyon is near untradable and it's tough to imagine Houston parting with Matt Lindstrom.

Blue Jays:
The Jays have lost 12 of the last 15 and are in fourth place in the AL (B)East, 11 1/2 games out. It's safe to say the honeymoon is over, and the Jays have plenty of pitching available. Their starting pitching are all young, cost-controllable and quality so it's hard to imagine Toronto dealing any of those. The relievers, on the other hand, should be plentiful.

Kevin Gregg has extensive experience pitching in the NL and in close games. He's posted a 3.94 ERA over 32 innings. Left-hander Scott Downs, one of the best setup men in the bigs, is having another fantastic season and Shawn Camp has emerged as another qualty bullpen arm. Casey Janssen is just 28 and is a quality middle relief arm but certainly fungible to a rebuilding squad.

Now that the GM and manager have been offered a ticket out of town, interim GM Jerry DiPoto has a lot of decisions to make. One of which is if Dan Haren should be traded, something outgoing GM Josh Byrnes also grappled with. Haren is inked through 2012, getting $8.25 million in 2010 and $12.75 million in 2011 and 2012, affordable for a perennial Cy Young contender. The question here is two-fold:

First being if the Diamondbacks would be willing to swap Haren to an intradivision rival, the second if the Dodgers have enough in the farm system to acquire Haren. The Dodgers were ranked No. 21 in minor-league talent rankings by Baseball America prior to the season and Haren figures to command more than Lee will.

The Indians have Jake Westbrook most available, who is finishing up a contract that pays him $11 million on the season. Cleveland is ready to have a fire sale (as detailed here ) but has yet to find anyone to their liking that has been dangled for Westbrook. Westbrook would cost significantly less than one of the top-tier pitchers on the market in terms of prospects due to the contract and the fact he is a mid-rotation starter.

Kerry Wood, provided the Indians chipped in a healthy sum of money to make up for about $5 million remaining on Wood's deal, could also head to the Dodgers.

The obvious one is Cliff Lee, of course. With about $4 million remaining to Lee, he would easily fit into the Dodgers' payroll. He would also allow Los Angeles a way to beef up its farm system by offering arbitration to the lefty after the season -- which Lee would certainly decline. The Dodgers' payroll collapses to a projected $61 million next year, so a Lee extension is possible as well.

Other potential names that may have been swapped could include closer David Aardsma who could fit in a pitcher's park throwing gas as a setupman. Relief pitcher Brandon League is having a solid season as well.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 6, 2010 8:53 pm

Choo won't need surgery

Shin-Soo Choo
The Indians' Shin-Soo Choo won't need surgery, a hand specialist determined on Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince .

That news means the Indians may get the outfielder back sooner than expected. Choo injured his right thumb diving for a ball in Friday's game.

"If you compare his right thumb to his left, there's not any significant difference [in stability]," Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff told Castrovince. "That leads [Dr. Tomas Graham] to believe Choo can work through this non-operatively."

Choo will wear a brace for a week to 10 days before it is re-evaluated by Graham.

The Indians initially set the timetable at six-to-eight weeks, but stopped short of changing that, even if it looks as if Choo will return before then.

"It's good news," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We're still going to have to wait 10 days to see where that takes us. But it will be a great boost for us if he doesn't need surgery and we can have him back a lot sooner than we were anticipating."

Choo was a likely All-Star before the injury, hitting .286/.390/.475 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 5, 2010 6:22 pm

Injury creates questions for Choo's future

Shin-Soo Choo Shin-Soo Choo's injured thumb could throw another wrinkle in his military future. The Korea Times speculates the thumb injury may cost the Indians' outfielder a shot at a much-needed gold in the November Asian Games.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) previously included the slugger on the preliminary 60-man roster in May. Choo is expected to recover before mid-September, when the final 22-man roster will be confirmed.

"The foremost concern is to make sure what Choo's condition is like, and then we will report to technical chief Kim In-sik and squad manager Cho Bum-hyun," a KBO official said.

For Choo, playing at the Asian Games is critically important as it is the only chance for him to get an exemption from the 2-year military service.

According to related regulations, members of a national baseball team can complete their military service with only a 4-week basic training if the team wins a gold medal at the Asian Games, or any medal at the Olympics.

Choo missed his chance previously, when the MLB refused to allow him to play at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He was not included in the roster for the 2006 Asian Games, but South Korea ended with a bronze medal with consecutive losses to Taiwan and Japan.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 4, 2010 6:25 pm

Indians ready to begin fire sale

Jake Westbrook Now that the Indians have traded Russell Branyan, their annual fire sale has begun again as they try to bring in pieces to eventually send Cleveland back to the top of the division.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer runs through some candidates to be traded, chief among them Jake Westbrook. Westbrook missed nearly two seasons with Tommy John surgery but has come back strong, starting 17 games and posting a 4.59 ERA. He would be a fantastic middle-of-the-rotation get for a team, but the $11 million due him in the year is prohibiting any clear favorites.

While there has been some interest in Westbrook, Hoynes says the Indians almost certainly need to chip in to help pay the remainder of Westbrook's salary if they hope to get anyone worth dealing Westbrook for.

Fellow big-salaried pitcher Kerry Wood is also unquestionably available, but teams are skittish about his consistency and -- surprise -- amount owed. He will make a total of $10.5 million on the year, and some team may yet bite near the end of August, when he could be available through trade waivers. Such a move would allow teams a longer evaluation period, dole out less money and get Wood on the staff in advance of the August 31 deadline to set playoff rosters.

Jhonny Peralta is also slated to become a free agent and is also on the trading block. However, the former shortstop has seen his star dim significantly in recent days and has seen all semblance of power disappear. He was once linked to the Phillies to help fill the void left by Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, but a source tells Hoynes there is no interest on Philadelphia's end.

Hoynes wonders aloud about the Twins as a trade partner for Peralta, and also believes Austin Kearns could be available to a team seeking a stable outfield option off the bench.

Along with the fading Marlins, the Indians may be in the best position of any selling club due to the various options they can present to teams with needs. However, can Mark Shapiro make an impact in his final season as a general manager? What he pulls off -- or doesn't pull off -- at the trade deadline will tell a lot about the state of the organization.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 4, 2010 2:08 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 12:31 pm

Choo latest Indian to land on DL

Michael Brantley The hits just keep on coming for the Indians.

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, Cleveland has instead seen some of its youngest and brightest stars hit the disabled list i Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore.

Now you can add Shin-Soo Choo, the team's best hitter, to the list. The Korean native sprained his right thumb and will be out six to eight weeks, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer . He injured his thumb making a diving catch Friday night against Oakland's Jack Cust and bent glove hand back awkwardly.

Surgery hasn't been ruled out for the 27-year-old, who is hitting .286/.390/.475 and is the only Indian to have double-digit home runs with 13. He will meet with hand specialist Dr. Timothy Graham in the coming days to determine the best course of action.

"It's obviously serious," manager Manny Acta told the Plain Dealer . "More serious than we thought. He will be looked at again Tuesday and evaluated. Surgery is a possibility.''

If surgery does indeed occur, Acta doesn't believe it would be season-ending.

Choo was expected to be named to the All-Star team and may have been if not for the injury. Fausto Carmona, a starting pitcher, will be Cleveland's lone representative in Anaheim.

Michael Brantley (pictured) was recalled to ake the place of Choo. He is in the lineup batting leadoff for the Indians, playing center. Brantley was part of the CC Sabathia trade in 2008 and impressed during a 112 at-bat stint in 2009. For Triple-A Columbus, he was hitting .315/.391/.407 in 278 at-bats.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com