Indians news and notes

Posted Mar 12, 2004

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Indians will have a busy weekend, playing two split-squad games on Saturday and hosting the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Right-hander Jason Bere is scheduled to start Saturday at Chain of Lakes Park against Detroit at 1:05 p.m. At the same time in Viera, on Florida's east coast, minor-league right-hander Kyle Denney is slated to start against the Montreal Expos.

Left-hander Cliff Lee is scheduled to pitch for the first time in Winter Haven against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Lee, 25, was sidelined all of training camp in 2003 by an abdominal strain. He pitched one inning Wednesday in Viera against the Expos, allowing a two-run homer to Carl Everett.

Bere, 32, made only two starts for Cleveland in 2003 and had surgery last June 11 on his shoulder. He pitched two scoreless innings in his first outing this year, allowing four hits and one walk and striking out one.

"I feel good and think I can help this team," said Bere, who was re-signed to a minor-league contract in December and invited to the major-league camp.

Denney, 26, will be making his first appearance on the mound this year. Drafted in the 26th round in 1999, he has made steady progress through the Indians' organization. going a combined 9-3 at Class AA Akron and AAA Buffalo last season.

The right-hander from Oklahoma was having a fine season in 2001 when he tore a ligament in his elbow that required "Tommy John" surgery. In his previous start, he struck out 12 and allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings for Class A Kinston.

He split 2002 between Kinston and Akron and appeared fully recovered last year when he went 7-3 with a 2.42 ERA for the Aeros. He is expected to pitch this season at Buffalo, where he went 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA in six starts in 2003.


Bere and Denney are two of 30 pitchers in camp. In all 61 players remain in the major-league camp, including seven catchers, 15 infielders and nine outfielders.

Right-handers Bobby Howry and Mark Wohlers, both coming off elbow surgery, have yet to participate in team workouts and neither has lefty Carl Sadler, coming back from shoulder surgery. ... OF Brad Snyder, a first-round pick in 2004, was hindered by an eye infection early and sent to the minor-league camp on March 5. ... Cleveland's other first-round pick of a year ago, 1B Michael Aubrey, has delivered a couple of key hits in his first taste of exhibition play with the big leaguers.

LHPs Brian Tallet and Billy Traber, each of whom were impressive in short stints with the Indians last season before being injured, do rehab work every day, but likely will miss most if not all of the season. Both had "Tommy John" surgery on their elbows, Tallet in August and Traber in September.

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