Summer days, summer nights are gone… I know a place where there's still something going on
September is here, and the race for third place is officially on.
And the CastroTurf blog is back up and running just in time for the stretch run. So let’s get to it.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- The Indians are considering shutting down Grady Sizemore and having him undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow before season’s end. Sizemore is batting .317 with eight extra-base hits over his last 19 games, but when you see him struggle to throw the ball to the infield, you wonder what he’s still doing out there. Eric Wedge said Sizemore’s elbow condition is no worse now than it was, say, a couple months ago. But with Michael Brantley here and Trevor Crowe nearing his return, the Indians are considering the possibility of giving Grady a headstart on his rehab.
- Wedge also said Shin-Soo Choo will probably get spelled more down the stretch. Choo is two years removed from Tommy John surgery, so the Indians might still take some precautions with him.
- Travis Hafner had his ailing left shoulder examined in Cleveland on Monday, and “nothing extraordinary” (those are Wedge’s words) was found. Pronk should be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
- Crowe, on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain, is here in Detroit to ramp up his baseball activities. He hopes to be activated by the end of the week. Wedge didn’t reveal a specific timetable.
- Kerry Wood is available tonight. He had been dealing with a minor shoulder issue that is apparently not bothering him anymore.
- Brantley will see time in both left field, where he’s starting tonight, and center field, where he spent the majority of his time in Triple-A. Brantley batted .298 with five doubles, a triple, a homer and 10 runs scored in 21 games in August.
- Brantley’s father, Mickey, is in attendance tonight. Mickey is a former Mariners outfielder and Blue Jays coach. He’s a good man, and he’s raised a good son. From the way he carries himself, you would never suspect that Michael is just 22 years old.
- The August deadline for clubs to add players eligible for postseason rosters passed, and Jamey Carroll is still here. I can’t say I’m completely shocked, and neither, for the record is Carroll. “I’m a utility guy,” he said. “When’s the last time a utility guy was traded?”
- Andy Marte, a favorite of the CastroTurf Commenters (sounds like a band name… and an awful one, at that), is on fire. Marte has three homers in his last six games and six RBIs in his last four games. He’s batting .375 (15-for-40) over his last 11 games after batting just .125 (7-for-40) over his first 12 games. Wedge had said last week that Marte was missing “hittable” pitches (drawing the ire of the CCs). Here’s what Wedge had to say about Marte today: “He’s made some adjustments. There are real reason things are happening for him up here. The last week to 10 days, he’s really found his swing. It’s great to see, because he’s a great kid. He’s never given in to the fight or the frustration.”
- Jose Veras was getting Triple-A batters out. If his performance with the Tribe is any indication, that success won’t translate up here, but we’ll see.
- Speaking of wayward relievers, John Meloan was designated for assignment by the Pirates. When the Indians traded him for nothing (aka Winston Abreu), it was a sign that there must be something wrong with this guy. Now that the Rays and Pirates have both passed on him in the past month, I’m convinced.
- Speaking of the Buccos, the Indians traded LHP Bobby Livingston to them for cash.
- How many Minor Leaguers have the Indians traded to the Pirates for cash the last two years? We have to be in or nearing double digits.
- We haven’t had any minutiae up here the last few days, but some things haven’t changed. Chris Perez is still mowing them down (17 1/3-inning scoreless streak… the longest by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt worked 19 straight scoreless in 2007), and Asdrubal Cabrera (.370 average and 14 RBIs in August) is still hot.
- Luis Valbuena has had a hot enough second half to bump up to the No. 5 spot of tonight’s lineup.
- The Indians were named one of the best workplaces in Northeast Ohio by NorthCoast 99, an annual recognition program that honors 99 workplaces for top talent in the region. The program was developed and is presented by the Employer’s Resource Council.
- I sense a few jokes about trades coming after that last note. If you post one, do us all a favor and at least make it remotely clever, all right?