Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Notable rehab assignments in Captains' history

Early risers -- or those skipping work -- receive a two-for-one special Wednesday at Classic Park.

No, we're not talking about hot dogs, sodas or gigantic fish sandwiches.

This is a surprise baseball-related special provided by the Indians. Relievers Vinnie Pestano and Blake Wood, a duo with extensive major-league experience, are pitching the first two innings against Lansing on rehabilitation assignments.

Wood is throwing the first inning. Pestano is pitching the second. The duo will likely be done with their work by noon. The game begins at 11 a.m.

Pestano, the Indians' primary eighth-inning bridge to closer Chris Perez, is on the 15-day disabled list with elbow tendinitis. If Wednesday goes well, Pestano could rejoin the Indians as early as Friday. Pestano was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 1. The Indians are off Thursday. Pestano, 28, is a Captains alum, having made 29 Midwest League appearances in 2008.

Wood hasn't pitched since 2011 because of Tommy John surgery. The Indians claimed him on waivers from the Royals last October. Wood, 27, appeared in 106 major-league games from 2010-11.

The duo's appearances will rekindle memories of other notable rehab assignments in Captains' history:

Omar Vizquel -- The Hall of Fame candidate went 1-for-14 in four games in 2003. Watching him take infield had to be a career highlight for those players who never advanced beyond the Single-A level.

Bob Wickman -- Two appearances. Two scoreless innings in 2003. If only he made it look that easy with the Indians...

Casey Blake -- The infielder walked twice and cracked a two-run homer in a one-game stint in 2006.

Jake Westbrook -- Started games in 2007 and '08. Lasted five innings, but allowed four runs and six hits, in '07.
Fausto Carmona (Roberto Hernandez) -- Performed well as Fausto Carmona, throwing four scoreless innings in 2008 and striking out seven in 6 1/3 scoreless innings in 2009. He produced duds as Roberto Hernandez, allowing seven hits and five runs in two outings in 2012. 

Joe Borowski -- Pitched a scoreless inning in 2008. Demonstrated to young players you don't need a five-star -- or even a two-star -- fastball to reach the major leagues.

Shin Soo Choo -- Struggled with his timing, going 0-for-8 in three games in 2011. Choo has been fine since departing the Captains.

Carlos Santana -- Cracked a two-rum homer in his lone game with the Captains in 2012. The Indians could be in major trouble if Santana plays at Classic Park at any point this season.

Jack Hannahan -- Went 1-for-8 in two games in 2012. He never fared much better over similar two-game stretches with the Indians.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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