Optioned LHP Aaron Laffey to Columbus (AAA)
Thus the Indians are going with Scott Lewis as the fifth starter. Laffey last year lost the battle for fifth starter to Cliff Lee, but he ended up making 16 starts, and was back with Cleveland by the end of April. He started his 2008 stint with the Indians very well, but fell apart in July and spent the rest of the season in Buffalo. His ineffectiveness conincided with a drop in his groundball percentage, not surprising, since his fastball top out in the high 80s and is to say the least very hittable when up in the strike zone.
Laffey will join David Huff and Jeremy Sowers in Columbus, but by the end of the season, the Columbus three might have as many major-league starts as the trio that will start the season in the back of Cleveland's rotation.
Reassigned Andy Cannizaro to Minor League Camp
Claimed RHP Jae Kuk Ryu off waivers from the San Diego Padres; Optioned him to Columbus (AAA)
Placed RHP Jake Westbrook on the 60-day Disabled List (right elbow)
Like with the Salas claim, the Indians are here stockpiling optionable reliever depth. Ryu is recovering from arthroscopic elbow surgery last summer, and the Padres tried to sneak him through waivers when most teams are trying to cut players from their rosters. The Indians, however, had a free roster spot thanks to Jake Westbrook's injury, and with the injury to Adam Miller and the struggles of Masa Kobayashi, were actively looking for bullpen help. They should keep looking.