© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/28/08 6:40 PM ET
Cautious Tribe keeps Sizemore out
Condition of field urges Wedge to rest center fielder's ankle
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Eric Wedge put it bluntly: Nobody wants Grady Sizemore in the Indians' lineup more than he does. But the Indians' manager wants Sizemore, who is still nursing a sprained right ankle, in the lineup for the long haul. And given the wet conditions at Progressive Field on Monday, Wedge opted to leave his star center fielder off the lineup card for a second straight day. "He's available for us [off the bench]," Wedge said of Sizemore. "With the field the way it is, we don't want to push this." Sizemore, whose consecutive-games-played streak came to an end at 382 on Sunday, was once again subjected to agility drills in the outfield grass on Monday afternoon. The ankle responded well. "It's a lot better than [Sunday]," said Sizemore, who sprained the ankle when he awkwardly hit the second-base bag in the ninth inning on Saturday. "In a different situation, I could be in there playing. It's so early in the year. There's no point in making it worse than it could be when I could be 100 percent [on Tuesday]." With Sizemore again out, Wedge again turned to David Dellucci to handle the leadoff duties and Franklin Gutierrez to man center field. Dellucci said he hit primarily from the leadoff spot with the Rangers in 2005. That was the same season he hit a career-high 29 homers and had a career-best 65 RBIs. Those stats demonstrate that Dellucci doesn't change his approach at the plate based on his spot in the lineup. "I don't take any more pitches because of being the leadoff guy," Dellucci said. "The whole goal is to get a pitch you can drive. If that's the first pitch of an at-bat, I'm not going to let it go. You want to be selective, but not to the point where you put yourself in a hole. Then you're not doing yourself any good." Sizemore, who isn't off to the best of starts at the plate, doesn't appear to think that sitting on the bench is doing him any good. "It's tough not being in there because of a nagging injury," said Sizemore, who is batting .266. "I don't like missing games and watching from the sidelines."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.