Inside The Wigwam

By: T.J. Zuppe

Baltimore Orioles (6-5) vs. Cleveland Indians (8-4) – Progressive Field

Friday’s pitching matchup: LHP Zach Britton (2-0 – 0.66) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (2-0 – 1.35 )  7PM

Shaking Up The Rotation

Indians Pitcher Mitch Talbot

Due to the off day on Thursday, Indians manager Manny Acta has made a small tweak to the starting rotation.

Right-hander Fausto Carmona will be bumped up a day, and will pitch in the series finale with Baltimore on Sunday. Righty Mitch Talbot, who was originally slated to start Sunday, will be bumped back until Tuesday, April 19th.

The Tribe will head to Kansas City following the three-game set with the Orioles.

Masterson On The Hill

Right-hander Justin Masterson gets the call on Friday, as the Tribe returns home to Progressive Field. The Indians have dropped two in a row, and are looking to the tall righty to stop the skid.

This is nothing new to Masterson, who took the ball following the team’s first two losses of the year, and sparked an eight-game winning streak behind an outstanding performance.

He’ll be matched up with lefty Zach Britton of the Orioles. The 23-year old hurler has the folks in Baltimore calling him, “the real deal.”

Smith In, Herrmann Out

The club has activated side-winding righty Joe Smith from the 15-day disabled list. Smith had been battling an abdominal strain, and had previously been rehabbing with Class-AA Akron.

Acta is counting on Smith to be the right-handed eighth inning setup man for his squad. He should provide the skipper with far better matchup options in late inning situations.

To make room on the roster, right-handed pitcher Frank Herrmann was optioned back to Class-AAA Columbus.

There had been some speculation regarding who would be sent down, to make room, but with Herrmann still with options, and Vinnie Pestano pitching well, the team opted to make an easy decision.

Herrmann had been struggling thus far in 2011, giving up six hits, five runs (four earned), in 4.1 innings of work. Fellow bullpen hurler Justin Germano had similar numbers (five innings, four hits, four runs), but no remaining options.

Sizemore Inches Closer

Outfielder Grady Sizemore is slowly rehabbing his way to big league shape, with his next stop in Class-AAA Columbus. On Thursday, Sizemore hit his first home run in his rehabilitation, going 1-3 in his first game with the Clippers.

Honoring Jackie Robinson

Friday will mark the eighth annual Jackie Robinson day around Major League Baseball. It was 64 years ago on this date, that Robinson broke down color barriers, and played in his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

As in years past, all players, managers and coaches will wear the number 42 to honor Robinson’s great achievement.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter @TJZuppe

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