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05/22/08 11:07 PM ET
Borowski set to return
Indians to activate closer, designate Breslow for assignment
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Joe Borowski, the closer who led the American League in saves last season but has struggled in the early going his year, will be activated off the 15-day disabled list Friday and will resume his role in the back end of the Indians' bullpen. Seldom-used left-hander Craig Breslow was informed after Thursday's loss to the White Sox that he will be designated for assignment to make room for Borowski. The Indians will have 10 days to trade, release or assign Breslow, who had a 3.24 ERA in 8 1/3 innings of work, to the Minors. In his second and final rehab appearance Wednesday night at Double-A Akron, Borowski, coming back from a right triceps strain, worked a scoreless inning against Altoona in which he allowed one hit and struck out a batter. His velocity topped out in the mid-80-mph range. "He looks good and feels good," Wedge said. "He's ready to get back." Borowski also worked a scoreless inning for Class A Lake County on Monday. His velocity isn't all the way back to what it was in 2007, when he would top out around 88 mph, but Wedge said it's "pretty close." A lack of velocity in the early going this season was the biggest reason Borowski, who saved an AL-high 45 games last year, had an 18.00 ERA and two blown saves in his first five appearances in '08 before landing on the DL. His fastball was routinely topping out at 82 or 83 mph. The Indians initially gave Borowski's closing job to Rafael Betancourt, who went 4-for-5 in save opportunities and squandered two ties. Given Betancourt's struggles, the Indians, entering this road trip, decided to employ a closer-by-committee arrangement in which Betancourt, Masa Kobayashi, Jensen Lewis and Rafael Perez would share the ninth-inning consideration. Kobayashi had missed the only save opportunity of the trip entering Thursday.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.