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Indians Links—July 26, 2011

Is anyone coming to help these youngsters?
Is anyone coming to help these youngsters?

Indians notes: Alex White will be moved to bullpen after return from DL (with video) -"We want to be careful with him so he'll pitch in the pen when he gets back," said Acta. "We think he can help us in the pen. He's shown the composure to handle all the major-league stuff, plus this will give us a chance to more closely watch Vinnie Pestano's innings." 

The concern over Pestano's innings isn't one I've heard before but it makes sense; Vinnie has now thrown 37 innings this season. Last year, he finished with 59 innings pitched.

Royals Trade Rumors: Who Is Still On The Block? - SB Nation Kansas CityThe market seems even more quiet for Royals pitchers Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen, the other players that may be jettisoned before week's end. Bowden mentioned back on July 19th that both Francis and Chen may be moved, but there hasn't been any updated news since then.

Two weeks ago, it seemed likely that either Chen or Francis would be a significant upgrade over the worst of the Tribe rotation (Talbot and Carmona). With two consecutive decent outings from Fausto and David Huff looking like a usable stopgap, starting pitching might not be a pressing enough concern for a move to be made. The team's deep bullpen makes less than stellar starters more usable—there's no such safety net helping the less than stellar offense, which has managed four runs or less in six of the last eight games. 

Indians face big decision on Grady Sizemore - National voices - MercedSun-Star.comIt's one thing to conclude that Sizemore isn't worth anything close to $8.5 million. It's another to find a player likely to make the same impact as he did through 2008. It wouldn't be difficult to locate someone who can be a stop-gap in center or left for a year or two at a fraction of the option cost, but that doesn't necessarily solve the problem. Unless the problem is how to save money and nothing more.

Ocker, who's somehow being syndicated upon the poor people of Merced, brings up an obvious postseason issue—what's going to happen with Grady?

Does anyone want the AL Central? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN"It’s a weak division,’’ said a National League personnel man, "but I’ve liked the Tigers all year. Never underestimate a team with a good offense and an ace [starter]. You just don’t have long losing streaks.’’  

The BP Playoff Odds Report agrees with this unnamed executive—the Indians are now given an 11.6% chance of winning the division, trailing the White Sox at 19.5% and the Tigers at 66.0%. 

MLB Trade Rumors: Kosuke Fukudome Drawing Interest From Indians - Baseball NationThe Cleveland Indians are one of the teams in on Fukudome, and their interest is likely in shoring up an outfield that has been hampered by Grady Sizemore's injuries. Fukudome likely won't solve the Indians' lack of pop in the outfield (Sizemore is the only Indians outfielder slugging more than .400), given his anemic .371 slugging percentage, Fukudome gets on base and plays passable defense — though less passable in 2011 — and could be rented cheaply if the Cubs pick up some of the money remaining on his contract.

Well, that doesn't sound pleasant. 

Bob Hunter commentary: Deadline deal will not help Indians now, or in future | The Columbus DispatchYes, the Indians started the season 30-15, but since then, they are 21-33. If you want to look at this another way, once that torrid start ended, they have played about the way they had been expected to play - they lost 93 games in 2010, remember? - before the season started.

The cheerful Bob Hunter reminds us that this might not be a team to mortgage the farm on. Finally, via Twitter, Ken Rosenthal says the Indians are one of three top suitors for Hiroki Kuroda, along with the Tigers and Rangers