CHICAGO -- Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff gave the last of many injury updates in the 2010 regular season before Friday's series opener against the White Sox.Here's the rundown: Center fielder Grady Sizemore has had two post-operational checkups with Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., since the June 4 microfracture surgery on his right knee. Soloff said Steadman is pleased with Sizemore's progress, and Sizemore has been cleared to begin strength training in his lower half, the first pressure he will place on the knee since the surgery. If all goes to plan, Sizemore will begin baseball activities in early January, with an eye on being ready for Opening Day 2011. Catcher Carlos Santana has had three post-operational checkups with Dr. Rick Parker in Cleveland since surgery was performed Aug. 6 to repair a strained LCL in his left knee, and Soloff said all is well in Santana's recovery. Santana is still rehabbing in Cleveland and will transfer to the Goodyear, Ariz., complex at the end of October. Soloff could not confirm Santana's statement earlier this week that he'll be ready to begin running in November. Right-hander Anthony Reyes, 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, had his rehab assignment at Double-A Akron shut down in August but has reported to Goodyear to begin pitching in instructional league games early next week. Soloff said it is reasonable to expect Reyes to be back up to speed by Spring Training. Oft-injured former prospect Adam Miller has spent the entire 2010 season rehabbing from the fourth surgery to repair the pulley system on his right middle finger. Miller is also in the instructional league, though Soloff wasn't sure if he was cleared to pitch in games yet.
Crowe's ability highlighted by squeeze play
CHICAGO -- Trevor Crowe might have turned in the most impressive play of his young Major League career Wednesday night, when he put down a perfect squeeze bunt on a high and outside, 99-mph fastball from Justin Verlander to push across the game-winning run against the Tigers."That was definitely an interesting sequence of events right there," Crowe said. "In that situation, there's a play we've talked about all year. There's a certain sign we have for squeeze, and I know because [third-base coach] Steve Smith goes over it with me all the time." It appeared as though Crowe might have successfully bunted a pitchout. Manager Manny Acta said Michael Brantley broke for home from third a second too soon, giving catcher Gerald Laird a chance to call for a pitchout. "While it was happening, I didn't really see that," Crowe said, "but then I saw the replay. I think Laird saw that, went to pitch out and Verlander maybe saw him but didn't get the ball out enough." Acta said that while Crowe did not take advantage of the opportunity he had this season to be an everyday player in the big leagues, plays like the bunt he made Wednesday prove he can contribute to a team in a meaningful way. "He's done enough good things for me to believe he is going to be a good part of what we're trying to do here," Acta said.
Germano likely to start Sunday's finale
CHICAGO -- The Indians will be running the equivalent of leftovers out to the mound for Sunday's season finale against the White Sox.With no available starters because of Tuesday's postponement of a game against the Tigers and the ensuing Wednesday doubleheader, the Tribe will use a trail of relievers to close out 2010. Justin Germano (0-2, 2.16 ERA) is expected to get the start, provided he's not needed in an emergency scenario in the first two games of the series. He should be able to provide some length, having made seven starts for Triple-A Columbus earlier this year. "He'll be the ideal guy to do it," Acta said. "He should be able to give us three innings, and then it will be one, one, one, one [etc.]."
The six-game winning streak the Indians took into Friday's game matched their longest streak of the season (July 16-20). The last time the Indians had a streak of at least seven straight wins was from Aug. 17-27, 2008, when they won 10 straight. ... The Indians finished the home schedule with a 38-43 record at Progressive Field, a three-game improvement from last year's home record. The Indians drew 1,391,644 fans in 80 dates, the lowest home attendance in baseball this year. ... On Wednesday, Mitch Talbot and Josh Tomlin earned the victories in the doubleheader sweep of the Tigers. It marked the first time in the Majors since 2005 in which a team swept a doubleheader with a rookie starting pitcher as the winner in each game (the Astros did it on July 19, 2005). The last time the Indians swept a doubleheader with two rookies earning the wins was Sept. 30, 1962, when Sam McDowell and Floyd Weaver defeated the Angels.