Sizemore back in Indians lineup
Center fielder not too concerned with tightness in back
CLEVELAND -- Grady Sizemore and his back were back in the Indians lineup for Wednesday night's game against the Rangers.Sizemore missed Sunday's game in Detroit and Monday's home opener because of tightness in the middle of his back. He continued to rehab the injury during Tuesday's off-day and was pronounced fit to perform Wednesday. He returned to center field and the No. 2 spot of manager Manny Acta's order. "I've had that problem before," Sizemore said of the back tightness. "But this was the first time the pain was severe enough to keep me out of a game." The Indians will likely have to continue to monitor the back to make sure it doesn't act up again. But Sizemore said he doesn't anticipate this problem being anywhere near as serious as the elbow and abdominal issues that caused him to miss two months of the 2009 season and have two surgeries. "I don't want to go through what I went through last year," he said. "At least this was pretty clear-cut what it was, right from the beginning. We knew it was the back muscle. But [missing two games in the first week] is not the start you want to get off to." Sizemore, a three-time All-Star, is batting .273 with no homers and five RBIs in five games.
Acta holding out on Perez judgement
CLEVELAND -- Manny Acta wasn't going to let two rough outings from fill-in closer Chris Perez affect his opinion of the hard-throwing young right-hander."It's only two games," Acta said, "not a month." But Perez was the first to acknowledge following Monday's game against the Rangers, in which he was pulled after letting Texas load the bases with none out in the ninth, that he won't hold the job long if he doesn't improve his performance. In addition to Monday's outing, Perez blew the save in Detroit on Sunday. On the bright side, he saved consecutive games in Chicago last week. And to his credit, he has not shied away from the press this week. "He's just a young kid," Acta said. "He's been accountable and been there to answer questions. We have no worries about him losing his job. I feel Chris has the stuff to do it. He's a big part of our present, and I feel like he's going to be a big part of our future here."
Tribe to recognize Green Awareness Day
CLEVELAND -- It's not easy being green? Try telling that to the Indians.The Tribe will recognize the upcoming 40th anniversary of Earth Day by presenting Green Awareness Day at Progressive Field for Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET game against the White Sox. All fans attending the game will receive a green Indians recycled cap, made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. And Tribe players and coaches will be wearing a New Era cap made from 74 percent recycled content. That cap, which is brown with the team's red "Block C" logo, will be available for purchase at the Progressive Field Team Shop. Other organizations taking part in Green Awareness Day include the Great Lakes Science Center, which will show off a remote-controlled solar car and fuel energy car, and Cleveland State University, which will put on a wind turbine demonstration. The Indians estimate that they avoided more than 46,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions last year, thanks in part to combustible corn starch-based vended cups, biodegradable retail bags and recycled content paper products in the ballpark. Progressive Field became the first AL ballpark to go solar in 2007, with 42 GE solar panels installed in the facility.
Club taking it slow with Wood
CLEVELAND -- Chris Perez's recent struggles in the closer's role won't speed up the timetable on Kerry Wood's return."We will not put anybody in jeopardy just because somebody else is struggling," manager Manny Acta said Wednesday. But Wood, who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list, is feeling good as he ramps up his activity and rehabs the strained muscle on the right side of his back. He threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Monday and said he will throw another 30 pitches off the mound Thursday. The Indians have not yet determined whether Wood will need to go on a Minor League rehab assignment. He might be deemed ready to return based off bullpen and simulated sessions. "For me, the biggest thing is seeing how I feel with a hitter in the box and whether I can command the ball in the strike zone," Wood said. "It's not about arm strength, because the ball is coming out of my hand very well. You don't want to be mechanically off. As long as I keep throwing the ball where it needs to be, I should be OK."
Rule 5 pickup Ambriz on radar
CLEVELAND -- Keep an eye on the progress of right-handed reliever Hector Ambriz, a Rule 5 pickup who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis.Ambriz began a 30-day rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Saturday and has logged two scoreless outings, striking out four and allowing four hits. Once Ambriz's rehab assignment is up, the Indians must decide whether to add him to the Major League roster or offer him back to the Diamondbacks for $25,000. It's also possible the two clubs could work out a trade.
Worth noting: Branyan continues rehab
Russell Branyan (lower back rehab), continued his rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus by starting at designated hitter Wednesday. Branyan entered the game having gone 3-for-10 with a double and RBI at the plate for the Clippers. ... Infielder Jason Donald, a Cliff Lee trade acquisition, is off to a hot start at Columbus. Donald has hit in all five games in which he's played, batting .450 (9-for-20) with five runs scored, three doubles and two RBIs. He's made three starts at shortstop and two at second base. ... Each member of the Indians and Rangers will wear No. 42 for Thursday's series finale in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.