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Sunday Roundup

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Lee shares some thoughts with pen. Joe Maxse, PD.

Cliff Lee's most likely not going to pitch in any more meaningful games the next couple months, so the Indians are already talking about what he needs to do in order to return to the rotation next year:

Manager Eric Wedge said there are no quick fixes, and while playing winter ball has not been discussed, a good off-season might be just what Lee needs.

"We're going to make sure he does what he needs to do so when he comes back he's ready," said Wedge. "I'm sure Cliff feels the same. I think [the problems] are fixable, and he's a competitor."

There's a very good reason why the Indians are going to go out of their way to fix Lee; he's locked up through 2009 (a combined $9.5M), and the Indians hold a $8M option for 2010. As far as pitching salaries go, that's very affordable even if Lee turns into a back-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Sunday Notes. Terry Pluto, PD.

Speaking of 2007 flameouts...

The Indians believe the decline in Jeremy Sowers had to do with lack of arm strength. Not only was his fastball not quite as quick, but his arm motion also was slower. He began to get some of it back in the past two months at Buffalo. It's not like his arm is sore, so it's not an injury situation. They plan to work on a different off-season strength program.

That's the problem with a guy like Sowers: a slight loss in velocity means he can't stay even in a major-league rotation. He's slated to start one of the games in the Seattle doubleheader, but shouldn't see much more action this season.

On the other side of the spectrum is Asdrubal Cabrera:

Yes, the Indians do think Cabrera is a very good shortstop, which is his natural position. So they have lots of options for next year. But maybe he can be a Gold Glove second baseman. It's worth remembering that Robbie Alomar was a shortstop in the minors, then switched to second base.

The Indians might delay any drastic moves until they figure out what they have with Josh Barfield and Andy Marte, but I'd have to think that eventually Cabrera will be the Indians' shortstop. Jhonny Peralta has gotten a bit better with his range and cut down his errors, but Cabrera's the better defender.

Another big decision the Indians must make next season is whether to keep Shin-Soo Choo:

he Indians believe Shin-Soo Choo's elbow injury that has hampered him all season goes back to his pitching career in Korea, where the lefty threw more than 90 mph. The 25-year-old outfielder is still in the plans for next season. With Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco and Choo, the Indians have three young outfielders -- and that may make someone available for a trade in the winter.

I'm having a difficult time figuring out a situation where Choo is in the organization next April. I don't believe Dellucci is going anywhere, and that means the fourth outfielder will be right handed. Gutierrez has locked down right field. Maybe if the Indians carry five outfielders, but they also have to somehow find a way to carry Andy Marte.