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Dellucci convinces in consecutive starts

Dellucci convinces in consecutive starts

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- David Dellucci removed any doubt Wednesday that he's ready to open the season with the Indians.

Held up by left forearm soreness all of last week, Dellucci logged nine innings Wednesday against the Astros after playing most of Tuesday's game against the Yankees. The back-to-back starts were pivotal for the coaching staff to determine whether Dellucci can avoid opening the season on the 15-day disabled list.

Oh, and to really drive home the point that he's up to speed, Dellucci went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Indians' 7-6 win over the Astros.

"Hopefully I proved I'm good to go," Dellucci said after meeting for several minutes with manager Eric Wedge. "I feel confident about it. I feel better going into this season right now, even though I've had issues physically, than I did going into last year. I'm seeing the ball real good right now."

Dellucci will be the Indians' starting left fielder against right-handed pitching. Jason Michaels will get the start against lefties.

Having missed the majority of last season with a torn left hamstring, Dellucci batted just .230 with four homers and 20 RBIs when healthy, and has quite a bit to prove this season. The Indians have Ben Francisco, who has had a strong camp, and Shin-Soo Choo, who will join the team once he's fully recovered from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, waiting in the wings for an outfield spot.

Once Dellucci gets his expected clean bill of health, Francisco will likely to be optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. That move will probably come Thursday morning.

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

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