November 24, 2014

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Trade market looking bleak: Tribe Notes

DETROIT — The Indians will be looking in the days leading up to the July 31 trading deadline. Finding is the problem, as Indians manager Eric Wedge sees it.
“What’s tricky is you look at what’s out there and it’s not a long list,” Wedge said. “(General manager) Mark (Shapiro) and I have talked about specific names. He’s had conversations, obviously, with different organizations, but nothing to the point that anything’s imminent.
“We’re not going to push a bad play, either.”
The Indians are in search of late-inning bullpen assistance and could use a potent bat in their lineup as well — things nearly every team in the majors is on the hunt for as the days to the deadline count down.
In the relief department, Texas’ Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka are reportedly available, as are Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye and Reds sluggers Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn.
“There’s not a team out there that’s not looking for bullpen help or a bat. That’s the way it works,” Wedge said. “What everybody wants is not out there, that premier power hitter, corner guy. It’s not out there or it’s not realistic to get.”
Fultz fodder
Aaron Fultz (strained muscle in rib cage) worked a bullpen session without incident Thursday at Comerica Park and is scheduled to throw another one Saturday in Toronto.
The left-hander is expected to pitch in a simulated game next Thursday before being activated from the disabled list after the All-Star break.
Next up
The Indians wrap up the first half with a three-game series at Toronto, beginning tonight at 7:07.
Cliff Lee (5-4, 4.90) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing right-hander Roy Halladay (9-3, 4.27).
Fausto Carmona (9-4, 3.78) and Paul Byrd (7-3, 4.71) are the scheduled starters Saturday (1:07) and Sunday (1:07), while the Jays counter with righties Shawn Marcum (4-2, 2.86) and Josh Towers (4-5, 5.71).
Minor details
Wedge said that the Indians’ top pitching prospect, Adam Miller, would return to Triple-A Buffalo’s rotation after making two appearances out of the bullpen since leaving the disabled list with a strained tendon in his right middle finger. Miller, who is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) for the Bisons, is still considered an option in Cleveland’s bullpen.
l Double-A Akron’s Rodney Choy Foo homered for the fourth time in three games Wednesday, going deep twice in the Aeros’ 8-6 win over Bowie. Choy Foo, a Hawaiian-born infielder, entered Thursday batting .284 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 59 games for Akron.
Roundin’ third
All three games of the series at Comerica Park were sold out. Entering Thursday, the Tigers ranked fourth in the American League, drawing an average of 35,824 fans per game. The Indians ranked 10th, averaging 24,327 fans.
l Cleveland’s bullpen has converted 83.3 percent of its save opportunities, compared to 52 percent (13-for-25) at this point last year.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com.