Rangers, Indians Canceled Due to Rain

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Jake Westbrook will have to wait at least another day to make his much-anticipated spring debut for the Cleveland Indians.

    The right-hander's scheduled start against the Texas Rangers was canceled by rain on Sunday. The Rangers did not even make the short bus trip from their training camp in Surprise, Ariz., as a steady rain fell throughout the Phoenix area.

    "I was ready to go," said Westbrook, now scheduled to start Monday in Tucson against the Arizona Diamondbacks. "I've waited 23 months, so what's another day?"

    Westbrook missed the entire 2009 season after having Tommy John surgery after making only five starts in 2008.

    "I expect Jake to be as good as he was before he got hurt," manager Manny Acta said. "Tommy John surgery is as common as an everyday dentist visit these days.

    "Jake is throwing pain free. I can't read the future, but I expect him to be good," Acta added.

    Westbrook worked 14 innings in the Puerto Rican Winter League and says he feels as strong as he ever has during his career. In three seasons beginning in 2004, he won a total of 44 games. He has a 63-62 record and 4.25 ERA overall in 200 career games, all but three with Cleveland since being acquired from the New York Yankees in July 2000.

    "I envision being the same guy if not better," the 32-year-old Westbrook said. "I'm going out there just like previous spring starts. I won't throw all my pitches because you don't do that the first time out. But I'm going to go out and compete just like always."

    Acta already has named Westbrook his opening day starter April 5 in Chicago. The manager, in his first year of spring camp in the Arizona desert, was dismayed that he not only didn't get a chance to see Westbrook work, but that the rain cut into all training activities.

    "It's not supposed to do this out here," Acta said as he gazed out at puddle-pounding rain. "It is never good to have a rainout in spring training. You want to get in as much fundamental work as you can every day."

    Acta was pleased that left-hander Jeremy Sowers did throw a bullpen session in the early morning. Sowers' bid to compete for a rotation spot has been delayed by shoulder soreness.

    "He said he felt OK today, so we'll have him face some guys in batting practice on Wednesday and go from there," Acta said.