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Belliard to (Probably) Return

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I just noticed this nugget tucked into a Tom Withers piece on the late-season collapse:

Shapiro and owner Larry Dolan are faced with some tough decisions to keep the Indians rolling. Wickman, setup man Bob Howry and starters Kevin Millwood and Scott Elarton are eligible for free agency. The Indians club is expected to pick up its $4-million option on second baseman Ronnie Belliard, perhaps the AL's most underrated player, after the World Series.

Of course you pretty much expected this to happen, but it's still good news. The Indians have only to worry about the right side of the defensive spectrum now, which is a unique position to be in.

Someone mentioned Jason Dubois in a previous thread, and while he should definitely get a shot to make the club, the team just can't pencil him in and possibly go through the 2006 season with another black hole in right field. Dubois has a long swing, and while I do think it's too early to pronouce him a AAAA slugger, you have to have a backup plan in place. I really don't know what's going to happen this early in the process, but I seriously doubt the Indians are thinking of entering next year with Dubois in right and Garko at first.