I'm sitting on my watch, so I can be on time

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

Just because today’s game wasn’t good enough for FOX doesn’t mean it’s not good enough for us, right? Right.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • Shin-Soo Choo is not in the lineup and not in the ballpark. He flew out to Phoenix on Thursday night to be with his wife, Woon Mi, for the birth of their second child. It was a boy who weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. No name yet. Choo was expected to be back in Cleveland tonight. No word on whether he’ll be in the lineup Sunday.
  • But Choo better make it back in time for the Wonder Girls’ performance on Gateway Plaza before tomorrow’s 1:05 p.m. ET game. The South Korean girl group will no doubt be singing its hit single, “Nobody,” which is a favorite of Choo (“I want nobody, nobody but Choo”). They’ll also throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.
  • Throughout the second half, people – fans and media like – have insisted that the Indians should shut down Grady Sizemore. Obviously, the Tribe made that move yesterday, and some think it should have come much sooner in this lost season. “I don’t understand that,” Eric Wedge said. “What do we want him ready for? Are we getting him ready for Thanksgiving? Are we getting him ready for Christmas? … The guy wanted to play, and he wasn’t putting himself in any danger for next year, so that’s how we played it.”
  • As for the notion that perhaps the Indians should have had Sizemore go under the knife at the beginning of the year, so that he could rehab and be ready for a strong second half, the fact of the matter is that Sizemore didn’t even inform the training staff that he was dealing with the elbow problem until May. And as Wedge stressed, surgery is considered a last resort, not a first line of thinking. “Surgery is not something you just jump into,” Wedge said. “It’s a big deal.”
  • Michael Brantley has the green light on the basepaths, and that’s certainly a rare luxury for a rookie, especially one in his first week in the big leagues. “His feel is something I trust early on,” Wedge said. And Wedge, of course, reserves the right to take away that green light anytime he sees fit.
  • Jose Veras tossed a perfect inning last night, and Wedge said he saw improvement. “He had better command,” Wedge said. “We’ve always liked his fastball. But I liked the way he pounded the zone and worked ahead.”
  • Tony Sipp is really opening eyes, as he’s allowed just one run over his last 15 appearances, striking out 17 batters in 13 2/3 innings. “He trusts his stuff,” Wedge said, “and he’s been very aggressive.”
  • Though cleared to be activated off the DL, the switch-hitting Trevor Crowe is still limited a bit from swinging from the left side.
  • I caught up with Carl Pavano, who said he’s acclimated well to his new surroundings in the Minnesota clubhouse. He had laudatory things to say about playing for Eric Wedge and about working with head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff. Pavano said the Indians had no real financial incentive to be careful with him and his pitch counts early in the season, but they are the reason he is still on the field at this juncture of the year. He’s still dealing with the shoulder issue that caused him to skip a couple starts with the Tribe, and he said that’s left some of his pitches up.
  • All in all, count me among those surprised to see Pavano log 162 innings pitched this season and still be a factor in September. It’s good to see, because Pavano, contrary to what anybody in New York thinks, is a great guy.
  • Kelly Shoppach is the head driver on the struggle bus. He’s 4-for-his-last-34. He’s struck out 16 times in 43 plate appearances in that span.
  • Andy Marte enters tonight in an 0-for-12 funk after a hot week.
  • Last night’s win was the Tribe’s 700th in the history of this ballpark. The Tribe is 166 games over .500 all-time at Progressive (nee Jacobs) Field.
  • First baseman Beau Mills drove in his 82nd run of the season in Double-A Akron’s 5-1 win over Erie last night. He’s now ranked seventh in the Eastern League in RBIs. Josh Tomlin won his league- and organizational-best 14th game. Jose “Can’t Stand Ya” Constanza swiped four bags to give him 48 on the season, which is tied for the fourth-most in the league.
  • On a completely unrelated note, tickets for the Ohio University-UConn tilt at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio (the navel of the universe) tonight are just $5. If you hurry, you can still make it.

~AC

16 Comments

Oh, Wedge. Sometimes you say things, and I feel my brain shrink:
“I don’t understand that,” Eric Wedge said. “What do we want him ready for? Are we getting him ready for Thanksgiving? Are we getting him ready for Christmas? … The guy wanted to play, and he wasn’t putting himself in any danger for next year, so that’s how we played it.”
Yes, because rehabs always go according to schedule, so allowing extra time wouldn’t be a good idea. And doesn’t playing full out with ANY kind of injury put a player in danger of making it worse? Particularly TWO?
How about looking at it from the reverse: what’s the worst that could have happened by shutting him down sooner rather than later? Keeping him safe, giving him more time to recover, lessen the chance of set backs that would keep him from playing next year, and giving time to some rookies.

LACF, I couldn’t disagree with you more. I see your point, but surgery is a HUGE deal for a professional athlete. How will they react to their surgery, will they be 100% coming back, etc. There was no need to rush it. Grady has still put up decent numbers (not for him, necessarily) with the injury. And if he really could have hurt himself more, I sincerely doubt he would have been out there. I really feel like a team of physicians and coaches who have been around baseball most of their life would know more about dealing with injuries than you. That’s not a personal attack, the same goes for me or any of the Castrovince Commentators. This is their job, and unfortunately they have had a lot of experience in dealing with injuries recently.

Also, words can’t fully describe how much I respect Grady Sizemore (but since words are kind of my only medium here, I will try). This guys has played hurt since day one of the season, and hasn’t complained or made excuses one time. In a lost season, most guys would have given up a long time ago. But he felt an obligation to the fans to get out there every single day and bust his butt for us. In a season of so many disappointments, he was a bright spot, even if his numbers weren’t great.

LOL…it sounds to me that Eric was a bit irritated answering that Grady question, was he not?

agree LACF. I more question the groin injury. His SB numbers indicated he had a fairly serious all year. I have to wonder, did this injury contribute at all to the elbow problem, by changing his swing? It’s curiously similar to Victor Martinez, who had the leg injury the second game of the year last year if I’m not mistaken, and then developed an elbow problem. To me it seemed these were related, that the leg injury affected his swing and/or ability to throw as catcher, putting more stress on his arm to compensate for the legs, and led to the elbow problem. And having both of these injuries certainly could cause a third and more serious injury; to say that there was NO chance this could lead to something more serious is laughable. After July rolled around, I looked at it more from a player development standpoint, that it gave them an opportunity to give Crowe an extended look. Once Crowe went down, I can see why they left Sizemore in until now, since they didn’t have an adequate replacement and didn’t want to rush Brantley … I see Marte just hit another HR, but it had kind of looked like he was trying too hard to hit HRs the past few games, I saw him up to bat against Detroit and actually mistook him for Peralta, uppercutting at a low and outside curveball. At least he has the power to consistently hit HRs when he does connect, unlike Jhonny … speaking of whom, with the success of Brantley, I really, really can’t see them hanging on to Peralta. It’s only a few games, but it’s hard to believe he was hitting .260 in AAA. Brantley and a healthy Sizemore gives them a new dimension to their offense, they could lead the league in SBs next year with those guys and Cabrera and Choo. With the likely Intl League batting champion also at LF (and he just hit another HR last night, I’d say Brown’s shoulder injury is a nonissue at this point), barring injuries, I can’t really envision 2010 with Laporta anywhere but 1b, so their choice should come down to jettisoning Marte and getting nothing in return and playing Peralta, or trading Peralta for someone of value, saving the money, and giving Marte a shot. Seems like a no-brainer, as long as Marte doesn’t hit .150 the rest of the way

regarding surgery being a serious issue, pidgeon, that actually supports the argument for shutting him down early, to a.) see if it heals on its own so he can AVOID surgery and b.) if surgery was going to be necessary regardless, which actually seems to be the case, then it means he has more time to recover if there’s an unforeseen complication from this surgery e.g. what if he needs a second surgery? third? Who knows? I simply don’t see how if you believe “surgery is a HUGE deal for a professional athlete. How will they react to their surgery, will they be 100% coming back, etc.”, that you are using this as an argument for DELAYING the surgery until September? You just made the best argument I’ve heard for shutting him down in May.

and this is why Wedge needs to go. He is not that intelligent when it comes to little matters like this. I admit, Grady has alot of heart and desire. I would take him on my team anytime, but in saying that, we MUST have him 100% healthy when spring training comes up, and if he doesn’t know that? Then he deserves to get fired.

pigeon, I wasn’t talking about the decision to HAVE the surgery. I’m talking about the fact that they said he’d need surgery a while ago, yet never shut him down. He has been playing regularly even AFTER they SAID he’d need surgery for sure. As soon as they said he was going to need surgery, it should have been a done deal.
I agree that rushing into a surgery is a bad idea. But once they made it known it was going to happen, there was no point in delaying it.

For what’s it worth, here’s the opening to the Cleveland Plain Dealer article from JULY FIRST:
“Grady Sizemore likely will undergo left-elbow surgery in the off-season, Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff said Tuesday afternoon.”
THAT is what I’m talking about.

ST, Martinez had bone chips in his elbow that had bothered him for 2 or 3 seasons before 2008. He should have had them out before the 2008 season. Whether the leg injury irritated them and made them worse is possible, but the chips weren’t caused by compensating for the leg injury.

Pavano may still be pitching now, but I suspect he will be on the DL next year because of the huge jump in innings pitched this year. Same as Joe Smith had over 80 AP last year and went on the DL this year.

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