The DEFEND Cleveland Show

A new Spring still looks like old Tribe, injured


It seems amazing that the Indians season is already off the rails on February 27th.  How on earth can two key players already be hurt when they haven’t even done anything with live pitching yet?  Even more amazing is that one of them wasn’t named Travis Hafner.  Grady Sizemore hurt his back fielding ground balls last week.  Excuse me?  How does a guy that is paid to be in peak physical condition hurt his back doing a drill?  If you told me that story but substituted the name “Kurt Douglas” with “Grady Sizemore”, I would say, “Well of course Kurt Douglas hurt his back fielding grounders!  The man is 95 years old for Christ’s sake!”  Grady Sizemore is 29, and he has worse physical ailments than Joe Namath.

Sure, Sizemore has had bad luck and more surgeries than Meg Ryan.  The really bad news is that we’re talking about his back here.  This isn’t tweaking a knee or hamstring.  This is one more thing on a laundry list of injuries that even an NFL player would wince at.  Here’s what I’m saying…  If you have back trouble in your twenties, I think we can all agree that you may not be well suited for the job of “professional athlete”, and may want to concentrate on something where you sit at a desk and walk down the hall to eat the occasional office birthday cake.  “Insurance Adjuster” might be good for you.  Guys with back trouble should be saying things like “Well, I was going to get up the ladder and do the gutters this weekend, but with my back and all…”.  Guys with back trouble generally don’t say things like “I turned on Verlander’s fastball and took him to the opposite field.”

It is unbelievable how Sizemore’s body has failed him.  If he can’t get through early drills, how on earth is he going to play 125+ MLB games?  While it is nice to hope he will return to the fleet footed Wonder Boy of his early career here, that is not going to happen.  Players all have a shelf life, and it looks like his is up.  So now you have $5 million tied up in a guy that in a best case scenario will hit .240 in hopefully 150 at bats with little or no power.  Michael Brantley?  You’re up.  Let’s see what you’ve got.

The other killer is Chris Perez.  How does a guy hurt himself so badly in his first actual bullpen session that he’s out for a month and a half?  Gee, I don’t know…  Maybe he came to camp out of shape?  I don’t know if you caught this great back and forth between the Plain Dealer reporter and head trainer Lonnie Soloff.

Soloff said Perez was pushing himself too hard so early in camp.

“His body was clearly not ready for the intensity of that bullpen session,” said Soloff, who was asked if he meant Perez was not in shape.

“No,” he said. “I’m just saying he wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the bullpen session.”

Allow me to translate what Soloff was saying.  “Chris Perez came to camp out of shape, and blew out his oblique.  I’d love to go off about how a so called professional athlete can’t even keep himself in good enough condition in the offseason to throw a pitch, but if I do that his agent and the front office will have my ass for creating a fire storm.”

Allow me look into the future.  Perez will have this nagging lingering injury all year, and continue to re-tweak it as he comes back too soon.   Here’s a post game we’ll see in May 2012.  “Perez had difficulty locating his pitches, and the Royals seemed to be sitting on his fastball.  Last season Perez was routinely clocked at 97-98, but this year his velocity has remained in the 91-93 range.  Manager Manny Acta said, “Chris threw a lot of pitches out there and really battled.  This is a long season.  He’ll get it turned around.”  Said Perez on his three earned runs and blown save last night, “The oblique is fine.  I’m just a little behind right now missing all those reps at Spring Training, but I’ll be fine.  I feel good.”  Perez currently has a 8.45 ERA and has closed just 2 of 5 save opportunities thus far this season.”

This Indians team is not constructed to be able to absorb injuries to key players.  With a small payroll, they don’t even fill the starting positions with legitimate players.  The minors are thin, and it’s not as if there is a MLB quality closer and center fielder hanging out looking for a gig.  Toss in that Roberto Fausto Hernandez Carmona is out of the picture until he cuts through the red tape of a Visa violation, and the Indians are missing their #3 starter, their closer, and their centerfielder who was probably going to bat third.  Oh yeah, it’s not even March.



-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Feb 28 2012. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “A new Spring still looks like old Tribe, injured”

  1. chris

    hey… Choo Choo train is back tho! get on board!

    • I would do the first trade. Reyes still needs more work in terms of plate discipline. Can emostimes instigate the opposition with overly-exuberant displays while on the base-paths. Martin has a few glaring holes in his game, but he could stand to work on developing more power and more consistency against right-handed pitching. Hamilton has an incredibly sweet swing from the left side. Adds good speed, superb defensive ability with range and a strong arm. Is overcoming adversity. Soto is an outstanding rookie, and a great defensive catcher, watch out for this guy because he will be the next Posada. Don’t do the second trade because Lee is a great pitcher. Lee has a nice, four-pitch arsenal featuring low-90s heat, nasty slider, curve and change. Has a fluid, emostimes sneaky delivery. Sizemore’s plate discipline has something to be desired. Has had some trouble hitting southpaws. Frankly, I think Lee is better than Sizemore because Lee could be a potential Cy Young Winner, and started the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. I am not saying Sizemore is bad player, because Sizemore is, he is a leader on a struggling Indians team. Don’t do the second trade. +4Was this answer helpful?

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