Indians send closer Carmona to Triple-A

Updated: August 26, 2006, 8:34 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Reliever Fausto Carmona, a bust as Cleveland's closer, was sent to Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday by the Indians, who plan to bring him back in a few weeks as a starter.

 Fausto Carmona
Carmona

Edward Mujica was recalled from the Bisons to take Carmona's spot.

After the Indians traded Bob Wickman to Atlanta on July 20, Carmona inherited the closer's job -- with awful results.

Carmona blew three consecutive saves on game-ending hits and lost four games in one week, becoming just the second reliever in history to lose four times in a seven-day span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Minnesota's Rich Lysander (1983) was the only other reliever to do it.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said the plan is to have Carmona go to the minors and make two starts before he's brought back to Cleveland.

Carmona (1-8) will likely replace rookie Jeremy Sowers, who has already thrown 168 innings -- nine more than last season. Since the Indians are no longer in contention, they don't want to overuse Sowers, who improved to 6-3 on Friday night.

Carmona's rocky experience as a closer led to a breakdown in his mechanics.

"He's gotten into some bad delivery habits," Shapiro said. "He's unable to command his fastball. We feel this is the best path to get him back in position to help us next year."

Shapiro said Carmona's future role will depend on the Indians' needs going into next season. It's unlikely, however, the team will give him the chance to close again.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press