Notes: Prospects make way to Tribe
Laffey could be promoted; Miller receiving elbow treatment
CLEVELAND -- One of the Indians' top pitching prospects is in Cleveland. Another might be on his way.The Indians are skirting rumors and speculation that left-hander Aaron Laffey is on deck to be promoted to the big leagues from Triple-A Buffalo. In the meantime, the club has confirmed that top pitching prospect Adam Miller is at Jacobs Field this week, getting treatment and evaluation for what is being called "mild elbow soreness." Miller missed about six weeks with a strain in a ligament on the middle finger of his right throwing hand. Since his return on June 25, which included some time in the bullpen, he has gone 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in six appearances, giving up 21 earned runs over 14 innings. In his last start against Charlotte on July 19, Miller took the loss after getting roughed up for eight runs on 11 hits with a walk and six strikeouts in four innings. The 22-year-old Miller was at The Jake early Monday morning and is expected to remain in town for several days, team spokesman Bart Swain said. The actual severity of the elbow problem is still being determined. Laffey, meanwhile, has cleaned out his locker at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo, according to a source. He was pulled out of his start in Sunday's Bisons game after working just 2 2/3 innings in the first game of a doubleheader against Syracuse, giving up a run on two hits with a walk and five strikeouts. According to a report in the Buffalo News, Laffey, who is 7-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 games this season, was high-fived by his teammates when he made it to the dugout. After the game, manager Torey Lovullo was evasive when asked if Laffey has been promoted. "We had him on a pitch count of 50," Lovullo said. "There's some consideration of moving him, but we're not sure at this point. [Laffey is] not out of the organization at all. Aaron Laffey is a Cleveland Indian, and he's deserving of consideration [for a callup]." Though two sources from within the Indians' clubhouse said it has become common knowledge that the pitcher is on the verge of being promoted, the Indians said Laffey is still in the Buffalo rotation and scheduled to start Thursday. Swain said Laffey was kept on a short pitch count on Sunday because he is scheduled to throw on short rest Thursday. "There's nothing going on with that," manager Eric Wedge said of the rumors regarding Laffey. If Laffey were to be promoted, the Indians would obviously have some other move in the works, possibly involving a starter. Laffey, who began the year at Double-A Akron, was in the Tribe's big-league camp this spring, but he wasn't necessarily on the club's radar for a promotion to the Majors this season. He recently rattled off seven straight victories for Buffalo, falling one shy of Tim Drew's franchise record, set in 2002. "We're very pleased with the way he's throwing the ball," Wedge said of Laffey. "When you have the June he had, that's one way to make sure you get on the radar. But we have no plans for him right now." The speculation regarding Laffey, therefore, is either much ado about nothing or the worst-kept secret in the Indians' organization. Fultz progressing: Aaron Fultz is getting bored, but he's expecting to get a little more active in the next few days. The left-handed Fultz, recovering from a rib strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list June 27, played catch Sunday and Monday and felt no ill-effects. That's considered progress, because Fultz had a mild setback in his recovery while throwing a simulated game last week. "It feels normal," Fultz said. "The last few days, it's felt fine, and I actually sneezed and didn't feel it." Fultz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and Friday. He would then be ready to go out on a rehab assignment in the Minors. Wedge said the Indians have not yet determined if Fultz would require more than one rehab appearance. "We'll work off him," Wedge said. Stand and applaud: Wedge doesn't make a habit out of rooting for the opposition's starting pitcher, but it's a different story when it comes to Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who started Monday night's game. Lester made his first start in the big leagues since being diagnosed with a treatable form of lymphoma last August. After going through six chemotherapy treatments, Lester was declared cancer-free in December. "You root for the guy in life, first and foremost," Wedge said. "You hope he has a long, healthy life." Sad story: On the emotional flip side of the Lester story is the one involving Double-A Tulsa first-base coach Mike Coolbaugh, who was killed Sunday night when a line drive hit him in the head. "It's a horrible, horrible thing," Wedge said. "It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it." Tribe tidbits: Catcher Victor Martinez was given a break Monday, as Kelly Shoppach got the start. The Indians are in a stretch of 17 straight games, so Wedge is being careful to give his regulars a rest, when it makes sense. "If you watch a guy play, you don't want him to be on his last legs," Wedge said. "You watch the way they play. We've got a good for where they're at physically and how it affects their performance." ... The lower section of the right-field seats was packed with fans who were admitted early for batting practice Monday. They were there to take in the Red Sox's swings and most notably those of Manny Ramirez. When Ramirez hit a homer to the right-field seats, the crowd erupted. ... The Indians' team charter didn't arrive in Cleveland from Texas until 5 a.m. ET on Monday. Batting practice, therefore, was scrapped before Monday's game. Popular draw: The Indians announced their three-game home series against the Yankees on Aug. 10-12 has sold out, though newly released standing room only tickets remain for Aug. 10 and Aug. 12.
Fans have until July 30 to sign up on Indians.com for a ticket lottery for tickets to the Aug. 11 game. Lottery winners will have the opportunity to buy up to two tickets for that game.
Season-ticket holders who can't make it to the games can put them up for sale through the Tribe Ticket Marketplace on Indians.com.
On deck: The Indians continue their four-game set with the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. ET Tuesday. Left-hander C.C. Sabathia (13-4, 3.81 ERA) will oppose right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-7, 3.99). It will be Dollar Dog night at the ballpark.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.