Tribe depth being tested; White joins Sizemore, Hafner on DL

It’s not often that you lose three key players in the span of less than two weeks, but that’s exactly what has happened to the Cleveland Indians. It was announced a short time ago that Alex White, the rookie right-hander and last night’s starting pitcher, has been placed on the 15-day DL with right middle finger soreness. To fill White’s roster spot, the team has called up right-handed bullpen arm Josh Judy.

White lasted just three innings after wincing in pain on a slider he threw during that third inning. After that, White stuck to just fastballs and walked the bases loaded with his control issues. He finished the inning, allowing two runs (one earned).

For the Indians, it makes up their mind regarding a starting rotation dilemma. Mitch Talbot threw his final rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday night, and is set to return to the Tribe. He will now likely slide into White’s slot. Talbot is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA this season in 2 starts. Talbot was either headed to the bullpen or the Indians had a tough decision to make between sending White or Carlos Carrasco down to Columbus. Now, they can delay that decision for at least another two weeks.

It was just yesterday that the team placed DH Travis Hafner on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain. That opened the roster spot for last night’s hero, Ezequiel Carrera. The Clippers’ outfielder was batting .317 with 2 HR, 17 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. Carrera gets his first major league start today, batting ninth and playing center field. Frank Herrmann, who appeared in two innings of work last night, also was recalled as Luis Valbuena enjoyed just a one-night stay as a spectator with the big league club for emergency support due to Orlando Cabrera’s citizenship ceremony.

A bit of good news for the Wahoos is that Travis Buck returns to the lineup today after two games off due to a nagging toe injury, although he was likely available last night but sat due to a left-hander on the mound. Buck, Carrera, Austin Kearns, and Shelley Duncan will all see time plugging the holes in the lineup that Sizemore and Pronk have left.

Judy is a 25-year-old right-hander that was a 34th round pick of the Tribe in 2007. This season at Columbus, Judy is 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 17 1/3 innings pitched, walking 9 and striking out 20. Baseball America considers Judy’s slider the best in the Tribe organization. He will provide some support to a Tribe pen that currently has Chad Durbin, Frank Herrmann, and Joe Smith all having sustained 24+ pitch outings in the last two nights.

Let’s hope the Tribe can get healthy and soon, because while Columbus is loaded with capable players, there’s only so much depth in an organization before the effects are felt on the field.

(Photo: Amy Sancetta/AP)