Crowe fills big shoes in center, leadoff spot
With Sizemore out, outfielder finding success in Majors
CLEVELAND -- The loss of Grady Sizemore is Trevor Crowe's gain.Crowe joined the Tribe as a roster fill-in for Andy Marte, whose infected ingrown hair on his belly caused a painful trip to the disabled list on Saturday. The next day, Sizemore hurt his left knee diving back to first base. And on Monday, Asdrubal Cabrera fractured his left forearm.
Suddenly, Crowe is not only the Indians' starting center fielder, but also their leadoff man."It's a great opportunity," he said.
The young outfielder got off to a great beginning Thursday against the Royals, lacing a line-drive single to center field in his first at-bat.Crowe did not get the chance to break camp with the Indians. After batting .235 with a .611 OPS in 68 games in the bigs last year, he had hoped to win the Tribe's fourth outfielder's job, but it went to veteran Austin Kearns in his stead. Crowe returned to Triple-A Columbus, where he hit .244 with a .601 OPS in 29 games. Those aren't dazzling numbers, but Crowe has performed fairly well since his promotion, batting .350 (7-for-20) with a homer and four RBIs in five games. "I feel more comfortable up here," he said. "The main thing I learned last year is to take it 24 hours at a time, and that's what I'm doing now. Mentally, the most important thing is the game day. That's the only thing I'm focused on."
Redmond cautions of information overload
CLEVELAND -- Recent reports have shed some light on the practice of Major League teams using technology to compile scouting reports on umpires, so that their pitchers, catchers and hitters have a feel for how they call balls and strikes.But Indians veteran catcher Mike Redmond downplayed such a trend. There is such a thing, he cautioned, as information overload. "I think if you start breaking down umpires and their tendencies -- maybe with a veteran team you can do that -- but with a younger team, it brings them another element to think about," Redmond said. "We're trying to get them to throw strikes, as it is. To get them to try to adjust their style to the umpire that night? No thanks." Redmond is in his 13th Major League season. He's seen changes in how umpires call games and how teams prepare for umpires. "When I was a younger player, it was a bigger deal," he said. "People would make it a point to tell you who was umpiring and what their strike zone was or what they like to call. Ten or 12 years ago, everybody kind of had their own unique strike zone. Nowadays, they're trying to get everybody on the same basic strike zone." While technology can draw up a scouting report, Redmond said there's something to be said for establishing a relationship with an umpire. "I just always make it a point to tell young catchers to talk to them and get to know them," he said. "I think that helps. Those guys are grinding it out just like we are. That's their job, and they take a lot of pride in it."
Donald impressing Acta with coachability
CLEVELAND -- Jason Donald made a favorable enough impression on manager Manny Acta in his first two Major League games that he was slotted into the No. 2 spot of the lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Royals.Donald had two hits, a walk and a run scored in his debut Tuesday in St. Petersburg against the Rays. On Wednesday back in Cleveland, he added his first big league RBI and some stellar defensive plays at shortstop, including a beautiful diving stop and throw to rob the Royals' Mike Aviles of a base hit. "He's got a lot of energy," Acta said. "We like people like him. He's very coachable, and he's willing to learn. It's a tough level to learn, but that's what we're here for. As long as he keeps bringing that energy and is coachable, he'll be fine. He hasn't been intimidated so far, and that's good to see."
When Mike Redmond completed Tuesday's game against the Rays, he broke the Major League record for consecutive games without an error as a catcher. His current streak of 253 games, dating back to July 22, 2004, when he was with the Marlins, broke Mike Matheny's record of 252, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... Kerry Wood's blown save against the Royals on Wednesday night came one year to the day after a similar meltdown against the Royals in Kansas City last year. Wood gave up five runs in the ninth Wednesday. He gave up four runs in the ninth on May 19, 2009. ... When Shelley Duncan appears in a game, he and his father, Dave, will become the sixth father/son combination in Indians franchise history. They will join Earl and Earl D. Averill, Jim Bagby and Jim Bagby Jr., Tito and Terry Francona, Buddy and David Bell and Camilo and Mark Carreon.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.