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La Velle Neal's Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

  • August 4, 2012 - 6:17 PM

The purge is on in Cleveland.

The Indians last week designated righthander Derek Lowe for assignment after the veteran went 2-9 with a 8.28 ERA over 13 starts.

"It's been two months of live BP [batting practice]," Lowe admitted.

Cleveland traded for Lowe expecting him to be the stabilizer of the rotation. He's making $15 million this season, with $10 million being paid by Atlanta.

On Friday, the Indians dumped Johnny Damon (.222 average). Shelley Duncan (.225) -- part of a horrible left field platoon with Damon -- could be next to go.

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A day after the White Sox traded for Francisco Liriano, they announced that rotation fixture John Danks will need season-ending shoulder surgery. So Chicago really needs Liriano to pitch well. Liriano's presence also allows Chicago to use a six-man rotation, as lefthanders Chris Sale (10 days between starts) and Jose Quintana (eight days) are getting extended breaks.

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With Jonathan Broxton traded to Cincinnati, the Royals have named Greg Holland the new closer. In 104 career games, Holland has a 3.14 ERA and has struck out 154 batters in 120 1/3 innings. "If you're a relief pitcher, at some point in your career you want that opportunity," said Holland, 26.

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The Tigers claim they did not speak with the Cubs about outfielder Alfonso Soriano before the trade deadline on Tuesday -- but they could before the Aug. 31 deadline once Soriano clears waivers. Detroit needs another bat.

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