Sizemore's third opinion may shed light
Details on severity of bone bruise to come on Sunday
NEW YORK -- The latest news on Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore's deeply bruised left knee is expected to come on Sunday. Because Sizemore has received at least three opinions on the knee and the possible treatments for it, including a visit with a specialist in New York on Friday, the news has the potential to be grim.Sizemore injured the knee in Baltimore on May 16 while sliding back to first base. He went on the disabled list three days later with the bone bruise, though head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said at that time that surgery was a possibility. It has been speculated that Sizemore might have torn cartilage and/or suffered a microfracture in the knee. If surgery is performed, it would have the potential to end Sizemore's season. But that is all speculation, because the Indians have not revealed any information about the conversations had with specialists in Vail, Colo., or New York. "We're still getting all the information," manager Manny Acta said on Friday. Soloff will address the media on Sunday. Sizemore reportedly first suffered the knee injury late in Spring Training and played through it, aggravating it in Baltimore. He was batting just .211 with no homers and 13 RBIs in 33 games when he went on the DL. Last year, Sizemore missed two months of the season because of injuries to his elbow and abdomen, both of which required surgery.
As Tribe struggles, prospects beckon
NEW YORK -- Teams learn a lot about themselves in the time from Opening Day to Memorial Day, and it's safe to say the Indians' expectations that this season be geared more toward player development than contention have come to fruition. The club entered its four-game weekend series against the Yankees with a 17-28 record, nine games back in the American League Central Division.With this in mind and with June arriving in a few days, the Tribe could begin dipping into the Triple-A ranks. One incentive of the post-May callup is that the service time for players with no previous big league experience won't allow 2010 to count toward their future arbitration eligibility. That was certainly an incentive worth considering with a guy like highly touted catching prospect Carlos Santana, who is batting .310 with a 1.002 OPS in Columbus. But beyond the issue of service time, the Indians have obvious holes that could open the door for prospects, Santana included. And manager Manny Acta said the Indians are considering changes. "It's not a secret that we have a few guys in Triple-A that we want to take a look at in the second half," Acta said. "We continue to monitor the progress of those guys with what's going on with our injuries." Injuries aside, the Indians opened 2010 with three young players getting their first everyday Major League opportunity from the outset of a season, and all three have struggled. Catcher Lou Marson (.200 average, .499 OPS), second baseman Luis Valbuena (.144, .548) and left fielder/first baseman Matt LaPorta (.210, .539) have had significant growing pains at the plate. Valbuena might have been headed for Triple-A had Asdrubal Cabrera not broken his left arm. As it stands, Acta appears intent on letting Valbuena work out his issues as the everyday second baseman. And Acta is also adamant that he can get enough at-bats for LaPorta to improve, despite the presence of Austin Kearns in left and Russell Branyan at first base. It has long been anticipated that Santana would eventually swipe Marson's starting spot at some point this season, and that point might be approaching. But the Indians have been happy with Marson's improvement in his work behind the plate, and they continue to stress the need for Santana to develop on the defensive end.
Radinsky recalls infamy of double balk
NEW YORK -- When Mark Buehrle committed his now-infamous pair of balks against the Indians on Wednesday, he became the first White Sox pitcher to be charged with two balks in a game since Scott Radinsky.That's the same Radinsky who is now bullpen coach for the Indians, and the former pitcher said he most definitely remembers that June 8, 1993, game. He took the two balks about as well as Buehrle did. Buehrle was ejected by first-base umpire Joe West upon slamming his glove to the ground after the second ejection. His manager, Ozzie Guillen, was ejected by West for arguing after the first balk. "I got ejected, too," Radinsky said. "So our records are identical." Buehrle, Guillen and West were all fined for the incidents on Friday, according to The Associated Press.
Shelley Duncan was a popular man with the New York media before Friday's Indians-Yankees game, Duncan's first trip back to the Bronx. He was a second-round Draft pick by the Yanks in 2001 and played 68 games in pinstripes from 2007-09. ... Travis Hafner took a 12-game hitting streak into Friday's action, batting .378 (17-for-45) in that span. ... Triple-A Columbus right-hander Josh Tomlin is 5-0 over his past seven games, including six starts, with a 1.14 ERA. He has struck out 26 batters in that span. His 2.11 ERA on the year is third best in the International League.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.