Crowe recalled to replace Francisco

Crowe recalled to replace Francisco

ANAHEIM -- The Indians traded another Cy Young Award winner, but this time Matt LaPorta was not involved.

The trade sending staff ace Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco to the Phillies led to some speculation that LaPorta, the key acquisition in last summer's CC Sabathia swap with the Brewers, might be given the call to take Francisco's spot on the active roster. But that call will actually go to Trevor Crowe in advance of Friday's homestand opener against the Tigers.

That's because Crowe, the Tribe's No. 1 overall selection in the 2005 Draft, has not only been hitting well since his latest option to Triple-A Columbus, but he also has the ability to spell Grady Sizemore and his ailing elbow in center field.

"Trevor Crowe has really done well down there," general manager Mark Shapiro said. "He gives us the ability to back up center field, which is important. For right now, he was the right choice."

This will be Crowe's third stint with the Tribe this season. He has hit .169 (11-for-65) over 30 games with the Tribe.

Down at Columbus, Crowe has hit .297 with two homers, 11 doubles, one triple, 20 RBIs and an .801 OPS in 49 games. He's played especially well since his last demotion on June 23. He's hit .337 with a .923 OPS in 22 games in July.

In addition to backing up Sizemore, Crowe will share time in left field with Chris Gimenez, who has become a regular in manager Eric Wedge's lineup of late.

As for LaPorta, there is a possibility he'll join the club rosters expand in September, but nothing appears to be on the immediate horizon. Through 76 games with the Clippers, LaPorta was batting .302 with a .917 OPS, 13 homers, 21 doubles, two triples and 49 RBIs. He's had eight multihit games in July, batting .333 with 10 doubles, four homers, 16 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 22 games this month.

LaPorta, who appeared in 13 games for the Tribe in May, has been getting the bulk of his time at first base. With tremendous outfield depth in the upper levels of the system, the Indians value LaPorta's ability to man that position. For now, they're using first base to get a look at what Andy Marte has to offer at this level.

Pitching matchup
CLE: RHP Fausto Carmona (2-6, 7.42)
The Fausto Carmona Project is over, and the Indians have deemed him ready to return to the big leagues in the wake of the Cliff Lee trade. Carmona was a major disappointment for an Indians team that counted on him to be their No. 2 starter coming out of Spring Training. He was demoted to Class A ball in early June and slowly climbed his way up the Minor League ladder, going 3-3 with a 2.72 ERA in seven starts between Class A Lake County, Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. He walked seven and struck out 39 over 46 1/3 innings, which is a good sign that he maintained his delivery. The question will be if the big league stage causes his emotions to get amped up and his delivery to get back out of whack.

DET: RHP Edwin Jackson (7-5, 2.59 ERA)
Jackson has lasted seven innings in five of his past six outings and owns quality starts in his past seven, including seven innings of three-run ball against the White Sox on Saturday at Comerica Park. He earned a no-decision for his trouble, but considering it took a ninth-inning comeback to get him off the hook for what would've been a hard-luck loss, it could've been worse.

Tidbits
Ben Francisco and Ryan Garko attended high school together in the Anaheim area, played for the same Major League team and got traded within two days of each other while in their hometown, no less. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that they'll be reunited this weekend, when Francisco's Phillies and Garko's Giants square off in San Francisco. ... The Indians went 4-for-29 in Wednesday's loss after batting .373 with 15 homers over their previous six games. ... Kelly Shoppach went 4-for-8 with two doubles and three RBIs in the series against the Angels.

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Up next
• Saturday: Indians (Cliff Lee, 7-9, 3.14) vs. Tigers (Rick Porcello, 9-7, 4.62), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Indians (Carl Pavano, 8-8, 5.66) vs. Tigers (Armando Galarraga, 5-9, 4.84), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Off-day

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