CLEVELAND -- Aaron Laffey won't be joining the Indians' rotation this week after all. Laffey, working his way back from a right oblique strain suffered in May, made what he had hoped would be his final Minor League rehab start at Double-A Akron on Sunday. Trouble was, it wasn't much of a start. In just 3 1/3 innings of work, Laffey gave up three runs on five hits with six walks and a hit batter. The control problems Laffey displayed have led to the Tribe's decision to give Laffey at least one more Minor League tuneup before he joins the club's rotation.
"We need to see more than that before we bring him up here," manager Eric Wedge said before Monday's series opener with the White Sox. Laffey said he understood the decision, given the issues the club has had with walks and starters not going deep into games. "I can't do the same thing everybody else is doing," Laffey said. "They need someone to come in and give them quality starts and not go to the bullpen after five innings. You want to get at least six innings out of your starter. With me walking six guys, I understand why they're tentative about bringing me back." Laffey, who was 3-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 10 appearances -- including four starts -- before the injury, is hoping to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 pitches in what will be his fourth rehab start. That start is expected to take place for Triple-A Columbus on Friday. In the meantime, the Indians can take advantage of their two upcoming off-days to avoid using a fifth starter in the next turn through the rotation. Laffey said he feels great physically. "This is the best I've felt since I've been back," he said. "I feel 100 percent with no issues with my side." In other rehab news, right-hander Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) threw a simulated session at Progressive Field on Monday and is expected to throw another Wednesday. If all goes well, Betancourt could be ready to go out on a rehab assignment by the end of the coming weekend, Wedge said.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.