By CHRIS ASSENHEIMER
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. â€” Jake Westbrook threw a bullpen session Thursday at Chain of Lakes Park. The right-hander said he felt fine, but there is still some concern over his sore right arm.
â€œItâ€™s a concern that I had to do what I had to do,â€ said Westbrook, of skipping his first scheduled exhibition start Thursday against the Houston Astros at Chain of Lakes Park. Westbrook had been the Indiansâ€™ opening-day starter in spring training since 2003. â€œIâ€™ve had a sore arm early in the past. Usually it lasts towards the middle of spring. Itâ€™s probably a little stronger (pain) than in the past.
â€œItâ€™s kind of one of those things where you throw so much early in the spring. Iâ€™m trying to get to that five-day routine. Once I get into that, Iâ€™ll be fine.â€
Westbrook, who went 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA last year, would not elaborate on what part of his arm was ailing, saying â€œItâ€™s in my arm. Thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m going to say right now.â€
Prior to last season when he missed over a month with a strained oblique, Westbrook had been injury-free, logging 200-plus innings over three straight seasons and winning 44 games from 2004-06.
Westbrook said he felt strong in throwing 45 pitches Thursday, and he is scheduled to make his first exhibition appearance Sunday against the Tigers in Winter Haven.
â€œIt went well. He got through it fine,â€ said Cleveland pitching coach Carl Willis, who watched the bullpen session. â€œNow, weâ€™ll make sure thereâ€™s nothing abnormal (today).â€
o o o
SIGN OF TIMES: The Indians agreed to terms with 13 players on one-year contracts Thursday, including starting pitchers Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers and Adam Miller, infielders Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Barfield, relief pitcher Rafael Perez and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. Cleveland still has 11 non-arbitration eligible players unsigned, with the deadline for its entire 40-man roster to be set by March 11.
o o o
YOUNG GUNS: Indians manager Eric Wedge said he will ease his established big leaguers into the exhibition season, with prospects expected to see plenty of action early this spring. â€œThese guys are a little more experienced,â€ Wedge said of his regulars. â€œI think they have a better idea of how to prepare for the season.â€
o o o
ROUNDINâ€™ THIRD: Jamey Carrollâ€™s wife Kim gave birth to twins Wednesday in Viera, Fla. â€” a boy (Cole Patrick) and a girl (Mackenzie Joyce). The utility infielder is expected back in camp today. â€¦ The Indians and the Astros get together again today (1:05 p.m.), this time in Kissimmee, Fla., at Osceola County Stadium. Paul Byrd is scheduled to make his first exhibition start, opposing right-hander Roy Oswalt. Right-handers Joe Borowski, Rafael Betancourt and Masa Kobayashi and lefties Rafael Perez, Aaron Fultz and Scott Lewis. There will be no television or radio coverage of the game.