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Finger blister forces Wood back to DL

Finger blister forces Wood back to DL

CLEVELAND -- The Indians made a move involving closer Kerry Wood, but it wasn't the pre-Deadline trade so many were anticipating.

Rather, Wood was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 12, before Saturday's doubleheader with a blister on his right index finger. Jensen Lewis was called up from Triple-A Columbus to replace Wood on the active roster. Chris Perez takes over in the closer's role.

The blister had been bothering Wood before the All-Star break, and when he came back from the break, it was still an issue.

Wood said the blister is not as large as the one that cost him a month of the '08 season with the Cubs.

"The last time, I lost the whole tip of my finger," Wood said. "This one is just on the side of it."

Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said the blister is not considered serious and will simply require rest to heal. Wood won't be eligible to come off the DL until July 27.

Wood is 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA in 23 appearances this season, converting eight saves in 11 opportunities. This is the 14th trip to the DL in Wood's career and the second this season. He missed the first month of the year while recovering from a strained right lat muscle in his back.

The Indians have been actively looking to move Wood in advance of the July 31 Trade Deadline. Obviously, this won't help them do so. But it's also possible that, because of his $10.5 million salary, Wood could clear waivers and be dealt in August.

Perez is the Tribe's future closer, and Wood's injury affords Perez another opportunity to prove his value in the ninth inning. Perez filled in for Wood in April and was 5-for-7 in save opportunities.

"This is nothing new to me," Perez said. "I've always been in the back of the bullpen. I'll do this until Kerry comes back and do what I can do."

This will be Lewis' third stint with the Tribe this season. He was optioned to Columbus for the second time on June 24. In 12 appearances with the Clippers, the right-handed Lewis is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA. In 20 appearances with the Tribe, he is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. He blogs about baseball at CastroTurf. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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