A pair of Cleveland Indians starters were on rehab assignments yesterday as Jake Westbrook was the scheduled starter for the Double-A Akron Aeros, while Ohio State product Scott Lewis started for the Class A Lake County Captains. Westbrook is currently aiming for a late-June/early-July return to Cleveland after a couple more starts in Columbus, while Scott Lewis was reassigned back in late-April to the 60-day disabled list will hopefully return by the All-Star Break after several more minor league starts.
This all could present some tough decisions for the big decision makers in the Indians organization in the coming weeks and months, as the current rotation of Lee, Pavano, Okha, Sowers and Huff is starting to come through a little bit right now as the team is playing much better than they did at the beginning of the season. Only time will tell what the Indians starting rotation will look like by the All-Star Break or even by the end of the year with Cleveland currently 27-35 and seven games back in the Central.
Over in Akron, Westbrook’s second scheduled start for the Aeros was rained out. After delivering 3.0 innings of scoreless baseball in his previous start last Saturday in game one of a doubleheader against Altoona, Westbrook was a scratch just before gametime with the rain pounding the field and the tarp firmly on the infield grass. Around an hour later, the game was cancelled as well, forcing Akron to play a doubleheader in New Hampshire next week and moving Jake’s start to Friday night against the Portland Sea Dogs. The 31-year-old Westbrook will pitch tonight at 7:05 p.m. for Fireworks Friday at Canal Park against the Red Sox Double-A team.
Over at Classic Park last night, Scott Lewis shined just like in his 81-game minor league career. The 3rd-round pick out of OSU in 2004 delivered 3.0 perfect innings of baseball while striking out three against the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds. Lewis, who went 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts for the Indians late last season and earned the #4 starting role in Spring Training, is making a comeback from a strained left forearm. He also started 17 games for Akron and Buffalo last year, going a combined 8-4 with a 2.40 ERA, 82 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 97.1 innings pitched.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.