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Tribe hopeful USA duties fit into plans for Perez, Pestano


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are hoping the World Baseball Classic does not interfere too much with the throwing schedules in place for closer Chris Perez and setup man Vinnie Pestano. That duo figures largely into the Tribe's bullpen plans this season.

On Wednesday, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said he plans on reaching out to Team USA manager Joe Torre to gauge whether Perez and Pestano can return to camp to pitch for the Tribe in the days leading up to the tournament. Francona was quick to add that he will respect the answer Torre provides.

"I can't imagine that [Team USA] would care," Francona said. "It might work out well, but I've really got to call Joe."

Perez and Pestano are scheduled to leave Cleveland's camp on March 2 to join Team USA at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz. Team USA will face the Classic's other Pool D participants (Canada, Mexico and Italy) from March 8-10 at Chase Field, the home of the D-backs in downtown Phoenix.

If Francona gets his wish, Perez and Pestano would return to the Indians' site before Team USA's first game to get some work in for the Indians in an exhibition game.

Cleveland's other World Baseball Classic players include shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela), infielder Mike Aviles (Puerto Rico), catcher Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic) and pitcher Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico). Those four players will compete as part of Pool C in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Indians catcher Yan Gomes has indicated that he is leaning against playing for Brazil in the tournament. If Gomes changes his mind, he would be required to head overseas to Fukuoka, Japan, as part of Pool A.

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