Smith suffers setback, done for year

Smith suffers setback in rehab session

CLEVELAND -- The Indians had hoped to have Joe Smith back in their bullpen during the final home series of the season.

But as the White Sox come to town for a three-game set, Smith will remain nothing more than an observer at Progressive Field because his injury-plagued 2009 season is over, according to manager Eric Wedge.

Smith, who last pitched Aug. 29 and has been dealing with a sprained left knee, was expecting to throw a third and final bullpen session on Sunday morning, followed by an activation off the disabled list.

But Smith never took the mound. While throwing doesn't give him any problems, the knee is hampering his agility.

"I can throw," Smith said. "I just can't move."

Striking everybody out is not a realistic expectation.

"If I can't get over to cover first," he said, "then it's not the best idea to have me out there."

This news is a bummer for the 25-year-old Smith and for the Indians. Smith was acquired from the Mets last winter to be a setup option for closer Kerry Wood. But the Indians only got a brief glimpse of Smith at his best because injuries and illness kept getting in the way.

During Spring Training, Smith battled a nasty viral infection that kept him sidelined for nearly two weeks. That drastically affected his spring preparation, as did a finger injury that sprouted up late in camp.

When the season began, Smith was behind, and he looked it. Then, in late April, his right shoulder began giving him problems. He landed on the DL with a rotator cuff strain and didn't return until early June.

Once healthy, Smith began to emerge in the setup situations the Indians had initially prescribed for him. He compiled a 2.60 ERA, allowing eight earned runs on 23 hits with eight walks and 24 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings of work after his June 9 activation.

But bad luck bit Smith again when he injured his knee while walking down some steps at home on an off-day.

With Smith out of the picture, the Indians will continue to rely primarily on Chris Perez and Tony Sipp in setup situations. They'll hope Smith will have better health and better luck in 2010.

Pitching matchup
CLE: LHP Aaron Laffey (7-7, 3.93 ERA)
Laffey redeemed himself after a pair of rough outings against the Rangers and Twins by holding the Tigers to one run on seven hits with three walks and no strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday. He did a much better job commanding his sinker, and that allowed him to induce a pair of double plays. The lone run came on a solo homer. Laffey gave up four runs over six innings in a loss in his lone start against the Sox this season.

CWS: LHP John Danks (12-10, 3.82 ERA)
Danks had his streak of eight consecutive quality starts snapped in an 8-6 loss against the Twins on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. He surrendered his most runs in a game since Aug. 6 against the Angels. Danks lasted six innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and three walks. He also served up three home runs, which boosted his season total to 25. Danks allowed only 15 home runs during the entire 2008 campaign. He previously faced the Indians back on June 5 and took the loss, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Tidbits
Michael Brantley has been out of the lineup the past two days because of a sore right ankle. Wedge did not say when he expects Brantley to be back in the lineup. Brantley did pinch-hit on Saturday night. ... The Indians announced their annual winners of the Minor League On-Base Program, sponsored by Continental Airlines. Players from the system are rewarded with a cash recognition and a Continental voucher for their performances, based on three non-traditional categories. Double-A Akron catcher Carlos Santana won the awards for the highest hard-hit percentage (51 percent) and the highest on-base percentage (.413). His Akron teammate, outfielder Nick Weglarz, won for the highest walk percentage (17.6). ... Of the Tribe's 64 wins this season, 32 have been of the come-from-behind variety.

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Up next
• Tuesday: Indians (Justin Masterson, 4-9, 4.79) vs. White Sox (Carlos Torres, 1-1, 5.91), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Indians (Fausto Carmona, 4-12, 6.62) vs. White Sox (Jake Peavy, 8-6, 3.75), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Indians (Jeremy Sowers, 6-10, 5.09) at Red Sox (Jon Lester, 14-8, 3.52), 7:10 p.m. ET

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