Carmona to make Minors start Tuesday

Carmona to make Minors start Tuesday

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- With no Grapefruit League game on their schedule, Tuesday will be an off-day for Indians.

Well, for most of them, anyway.

"I'm going to watch Fausto Carmona pitch," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Off-day? No such thing."

Carmona, the No. 2 starter in Cleveland's rotation behind 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia, will pitch for Triple-A Buffalo against Round Rock at Kissimmee on Tuesday. Round Rock is Houston's Triple-A affiliate.

The Indians want to keep Carmona on four days' rest between starts, and with no regular game scheduled, this was the best available option. The rest of the Major League roster will have the day off.

Carmona is 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA in three starts this spring. He went four innings in his last start, March 13 against Toronto, and is expected to throw around 70 pitches against the Express.

Wedge said Carmona's spring compares with where the right-hander was this time last year. Carmona went on to post a 19-8 record and 3.06 ERA in 32 starts for the AL Central Division champions in 2007.

"No [difference], which I think is a good thing," Wedge said. "Same work ethic, same approach, same attitude. He's always seemed confident. I see the same guy now that I did last spring at this time."

With the season only two weeks away, Wedge is facing tough decisions regarding the rotation.

Cliff Lee, one of three candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, started Monday against Philadelphia. The other candidates, Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers, will pitch Wednesday night against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Jim Molony is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.