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Tribe talk

Cle_738_2 CLEVELAND -- Plenty of Bisons-related news tonight in Jacobs Field as the Indians meet the Boston Red Sox, who are celebrating the return of pitcher Jon Lester. He's making his first start in nearly a year after battling cancer and there are tons of Red Sox fans here cheering his every move.

Anyway, the big news announced tonight is that Buffalo right-hander Adam Miller, Cleveland's top pitching prospect, is here to have his right elbow looked at Tuesday. Uh-oh. Miller, who was supposed to start for the Bisons Tuesday against Charlotte, has a 17.18 ERA in July and those kind of numbers usually have trainers and doctors probing for what's wrong. Miller's velocity in recent starts has seemed fine but there's been little movement in his pitches and that's a sign something is wrong either mechanically or physically.

As for Aaron Laffey, the Indians insist nothing is going on and that the Buffalo left-hander is going to start again for the Herd Thursday against Charlotte.

Here's what manager Eric Wedge told me when I asked him before the game if I simply beat Laffey down the Thruway or should expect him here tomorrow (OK, so that was a smart-aleck question but I digress): "I don't know where that's coming from. I don't know if you're stirring the pot on that or what but there's nothing going on."

Wedge went on to say Laffey was pulled after 48 pitches Sunday because he had warmed up prior to Saturday's postponement and then warmed up again Sunday. I told him that was not true because no one warmed up Saturday and he said that was his information. Wedge finished his usual pregame session with reporters, then huddled with Tribe PR chief Bart Swain.

Swain then sent out an e-mail acknowledging there was a "miscommunication" among Tribe staffers and that Laffey did not warm up. The e-mail added that the Indians simply wanted Laffey to reassume his normal slot and pitch for Buffalo Thursday. We'll see.

The word here is simple: The Tribe has put struggling reliever Fernando Cabrera on waivers and has Laffey on call for when Cabrera is either claimed or goes unclaimed and can be sent to Buffalo. But you never admit a player is sitting out on waivers and that's apparently why there's all this KGB intrigue.

---Mike Harrington

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