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05/26/09 6:56 PM ET

Trip to DL may be in Sizemore's future

Crowe takes LaPorta's spot for Tribe as insurance

CLEVELAND -- Grady Sizemore's left elbow condition is not getting any better, and the Tribe's All-Star and Gold Glove winner could be headed to the disabled list for the first time in his career if it doesn't improve soon.

With Sizemore's elbow still bothering him, the Indians called up Trevor Crowe as a center-field reinforcement from Triple-A Columbus Tuesday. Top prospect Matt LaPorta was sent back down to Columbus after getting his first taste of the Majors.

While the 24-year-old LaPorta, who batted .190 (8-for-42) with a double, a homer and four RBIs in 13 games, will benefit from more consistent at-bats in the Minors, this move was made in large part because of Sizemore's condition. Crowe has the defensive skills to man all three outfield spots and is particularly adept at center, as Sizemore is currently limited to designated-hitter duties.

Sizemore, who started at DH for the fifth time in eight games, did not participate in any of the Indians' pregame activities Tuesday.

"I hope it's not a DL situation," Sizemore said. "I'm going to take some days off from throwing and then re-evaluate it. It's tough, because no one wants to be out for a long period of time. We're trying to get by without doing that."

The Indians' DH spot remains open for Sizemore as Travis Hafner continues to rehab from right shoulder soreness. Hafner took batting practice at Progressive Field on Tuesday and will do so again Wednesday before returning to his rehab assignment at Columbus on Thursday. Manager Eric Wedge said he hopes to have Pronk back after he plays three games in a row Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

At that point, it might be time to make a decision on Sizemore.

Sizemore revealed that the elbow has been bothering him all season, to some extent.

"It just hasn't gotten better," he said. "Some days it feels better than others. We're just trying to give it some time to calm down. This has been going on all season, but it hasn't really been a problem until the last two or three weeks."

After starting at DH in all three games in a series at Kansas City last week, Sizemore returned to center field over the weekend in Cincinnati, where the DH spot was unavailable. He said he felt fine the first two games before the elbow flared up again Sunday. In the seventh inning of Sunday's game, Sizemore had to make an awkward headfirst slide into home plate, and he appeared to protect his elbow as he dove in.

"That didn't feel good," he said of the slide. "That didn't help."

Slides aside, Sizemore said the elbow has been a bigger problem on throws from the outfield. When asked if the elbow might be partially to blame for his slow start this season -- Sizemore entered Tuesday with a .227 batting average, a .318 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage -- he didn't want to make excuses.

"I'm not going to [blame the elbow]," he said. "At times you might compensate for what you have going on, but I've been swinging the bat better lately and still have the pain. So that's a pretty good indicator that I wasn't struggling because that was going on."

Crowe brings the Indians some outfield insurance from a defensive standpoint. Offensively, the 25-year-old Crowe is still a work in progress. After opening the season with the Tribe and batting .182 (6-for-33), he was optioned to Columbus on May 2 and hit .230 (17-for-74) with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs in 21 games, and he hit .333 (9-for-27) with a double, homer and two RBIs over his past six games.

LaPorta will rejoin the Clippers, for whom he got off to a hot start this season. But that success didn't translate to the bigs initially, especially with LaPorta getting sporadic playing time. Wedge said he wants LaPorta to get regular time at first base at Columbus so that he can be counted on as an option at that position, in addition to the outfield corners.

"Matt's going to do a good job learning from his experiences," Wedge said. "We'll see him back here."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.