CLEVELAND - Indians closer Kerry Wood threw a bullpen session Saturday at Progressive Field and has been cleared to pitch in a simulated game.
Wood, who missed all of the exhibition season after straining the right lat muscle (upper back) shortly into spring training, threw 35 pitches in the bullpen session in front of manager Manny Acta.
"He looked great," said Acta, who indicated that Wood's simulated game would come while the team was in Minnesota (Tuesday through Thursday).
Acta hinted that since Wood only appeared in two exhibition games this spring he would likely need a minor league rehab assignment before joining the Indians.
Wood was expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the injury, and though the right-hander said it wouldn't take that long for him to make it back, that appears to be the timeline the Indians are working off now.
Right-hander Mitch Talbot recorded the first major league victory and complete game of his career in a 6-2 victory over the White Sox on Friday. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Talbot is the first Cleveland pitcher to notch his first big league victory via a complete game since Tommy Kramer accomplished the feat against the Rangers in 1993.
Packing the park
Saturday's crowd was the Indians' largest (12,885) of the homestand other than the sold-out home opener.
The attendance got a boost from a ticket promotion for Cavs fans at Quicken Loans Arena for the playoff opener against the Bulls, with 1,107 people from The Q flocking to catch the last few innings.
All five of the Indians' victories this season have been comeback wins.
** Shin-Soo Choo entered Saturday tied for the league lead with a .500 on-base percentage.
** Travis Hafner is the only Cleveland player to reach base safely in each of the Indians' first 10 games.
** Catcher Lou Marson had thrown out four of the eight runners attempting to steal off him through Friday, tied with Colorado's Miguel Olivo for the most in the majors.
Prior to Saturday's 6-2 loss to Fort Wayne, Single-A Lake County was the only undefeated team in all of minor league baseball. It is the best start in club history.
** RHP Alex White, Cleveland's top draft choice (15th overall), made his second professional start for Class A Kinston on Friday, allowing three unearned runs over 41/3 innings. White hasn't allowed an earned run this season, while striking out 12 in 91/3 innings.
In honor of "Green Awareness Day," the Indians wore hideous light brown hats that looked as though they were made out of burlap sacks. Each cap consisted of 74 percent recycled material.
** Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the Rocky Colavito trade to the Tigers for Harvey Kuehnn, regarded as the worst trade in Indians history.
** "Major League" actor Corbin Bernsen, aka Roger Dorn, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch while wearing his Dorn jersey. Bernsen is directing a movie in Akron about the Soap Box Derby.
** The Medina Orchestra performed the national anthem.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136