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03/09/09 5:30 PM ET
Wood, Smith on track for Tribe
Relievers' late debuts shouldn't keep them from Opening Day
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He might have been off his feet for the better part of a week because of a nasty viral infection, but Joe Smith found a silver lining.
Smith will have what amounts to a relatively normal Spring Training schedule, making his Cactus League debut Wednesday against the Rockies.
"I think I can get ready in three and a half weeks," Smith said with a smile.
Smith's spring sickness, which kept him out of camp from Feb. 20-27, shouldn't affect his ability to prepare for Opening Day. He remains locked into the Tribe's bullpen for the upcoming season.
The same goes for the Indians' other winter relief acquisition, closer Kerry Wood, who will make his spring debut Tuesday in Tempe, against the Angels. Wood threw a two-inning simulation Saturday and has had no lingering lower back soreness. The Indians had planned to take it slow with Wood anyway, because of the extended spring schedule.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.