Kerry Wood will resume closing for the Indians once healthy

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Indians manager Manny Acta made it clear yesterday that Kerry Wood will immediately reclaim ninth-inning when he returns from the disabled list, saying: “Whenever Kerry’s ready, he’ll close.”
Wood has been sidelined since July 12 with a blister on his right index finger and wasn’t any good before landing on the shelf, going 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA and three blown saves in 11 chances.
Presumably the Indians are still holding out some hope of trading Wood for minimal value (or monetary savings) before the July 31 deadline, although given his contract there’s little doubt that he’d clear waivers after July 31 and could then be moved any time until August 31.
Wood is in the second season of a two-year, $20.5 million deal and the contract also includes a sure-to-be-declined $11 million team option for 2011.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.