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Indians Designate Sauerbeck for Assignment

June 9, 2006

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Indians reliever Scott Sauerbeck, disappointing on the field and distracting off it, was designated for assignment by Cleveland on Friday _ 10 days after he was arrested.

Not only was the left-hander not pitching well for the scuffling Indians, but Sauerbeck was recently arrested, accused of fleeing police along with a woman charged with driving his car while drunk.

The Indians have 10 days to trade, release or send the 34-year-old Sauerbeck to the minors.

To fill his spot, the club recalled rookie Rafael Perez from Double-A Akron. The 24-year-old Perez went 4-5 with a 2.81 for the Aeros, and is the only lefty in Cleveland’s bullpen.

Sauerbeck could not be reached for comment on Friday. The number for his cell phone was not working.

Indians manager Eric Wedge said the move was ``strictly performance-related.″

Sauerbeck went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 24 appearances. Typically used in late-game, matchup situations, he hasn’t been as effective in getting out left-handed hitters as he was last season when they batted just .162 against him.

``Scotty was more of a left-handed specialist, and if you don’t feel like it was working out in those situations, (and) you give it the time we did, you feel like you have to make a change,″ Wedge said.

In what turned out to be his final appearance for Cleveland, Sauerbeck gave up a game-tying, two-run homer to Oakland’s Eric Chavez in the eighth inning as the Athletics rallied for a 7-6 win on Tuesday.

Afterward, Sauerbeck blamed himself for the loss. He didn’t help his already shaky status by getting into legal trouble.

On May 30, Sauerbeck and a woman were arrested in Sheffield Village after police spotted the pitcher’s car weaving at 3:45 a.m. He was the passenger in his 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible, which was being driven by Lily Miller.

Police say the pair attempted to evade officers by parking the car and going into a residential backyard. The home owner reported hearing voices outside and police found them hiding under some bushes.

Police charged her with drunken driving. Sauerbeck pleaded not guilty to obstructing official business and permitting someone intoxicated to drive his car. He will have a pretrial hearing June 22, with trial set for July 11.

Sauerbeck, who lives in Florida during the offseason with his wife and two children, publicly apologized to his family, the organization and Cleveland fans hours after his arrest. At the time, Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said the club was disappointed in Sauerbeck but didn’t plan to discipline him further.

Sauerbeck signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with Cleveland in November. After pitching for Pittsburgh and Boston, he signed with the Indians as a minor league free agent in 2004 but spent all of that season rehabbing following shoulder surgery.

He went 1-0 with a 4.04 ERA in 58 games last season.

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