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Cleveland Indians

Sizemore forced to give in to elbow pain

By Sheldon Published: May 31, 2009

    CLEVELAND: What was an injury described as less than trivial a week ago put Grady Sizemore on the15-day disabled list Sunday. ¶
   The Indians' center fielder was placed on the DL with synovitis in his left elbow, that is, inflammation of the synovial membrane, which lines various joints in the body. It can be painful, especially with movement of the joint, and is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. ¶
  Synovitis can be caused by many things, including a blow to the area or an infection. ¶
  ""Awe couldn't take it any further with Grady,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""We DHed him for as week and for a couple of days he was feeling better, then it leveled off and didn't get any better. ¶
   ""Now, we'll let it calm down. He won't swing a bat for a couple of weeks. Toward the end of that time, he'll start swinging again.''  ¶
  Taking the place of Sizemore on the roster was Chris Gimenez, called up from Columbus late Saturday night. ¶
   ""They called at 11:30 or 12,'' Gimenez said. ""It was as pleasant phone call, that's for sure.'' ¶
   Gimenez is making his first trip to the majors and was told by Wedge to be ready to use various gloves. ¶
   ""He said I could do a little of everything,'' Gimenez said. ""Victor (Martinez) is a little dinged up, so I'm backing up Shoppy (Kelly Shoppach) behind the plate, but I'm supposed to be ready to play left field and first base, too.'' ¶
   At Columbus, Gimenez played 24 games at catcher,11 in left and three at first. ¶
   Martinez suffered a contusion of the left knee when he fouled a pitch off his leg Saturday night. ¶
   ""I can't play today, but I thought it would feel much worse than it does,'' Martinez said. ""We'll see how it is tomorrow.'' ¶
   Martinez insisted on completing his plate appearance Saturday night, and when he grounded to second base he limped halfway down the first baseline and stopped. ¶
   ""I wasn't thinking about anything, I was just in a lot of pain,'' he said., ""I said, "Let me just finish the at-bat.' I tried to see if I could get going again.'' ¶
   Gimenez has been catching for little more than a year, but that is the position Tribe operatives want him to master, while not forgetting how to play the outfield and first base. ¶
   Last year, Gimenez, 26, batted .339 in 55 games at Akron and .272 in 54 games at Buffalo. He got a slow start this season. ¶
   ""I've been doing a lot better lately,'' he said. ""When I started the season, I was the worst hitter in baseball. But last month, I started to figure something out. ¶
   ""I was putting too much pressure on myself instead of letting the game come to me. I was swinging at a lot of pitches I shouldn't be swinging at.'' ¶
   Gimenez, with a .235 overall average, batted .289 in May and .339 in his past 16 games. ¶
   NOT AGAIN -- Rafael Betancourt is likely to expand the Indians' disabled list to eight players, after suffering a strained groin on his third pitch of the game in the eighth inning. ¶
   ""I would say it's a potential DL situation,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ¶
   ""The last couple of days I felt it a little bit,'' Betancourt said. ""Today, when I threw that last pitch, I felt a pop and a lot of pain, too. ¶
    ""My arm has been feeling fine, and I was pitching pretty good, but now I have to deal with this. I don't know if it will be two weeks or how much time.'' ¶
   DON'T ASK ME -- Anthony Reyes will visit Dr. Lewis Yocum Tuesday in Los Angeles. He is expected to undergo surgery on his right elbow before he returns to Cleveland. ¶
   What specifically will Yocum repair? ""I know nothing,'' Reyes said Sunday. ¶
   HAFNER SWINGING AGAIN -- Travis Hafner missed Saturday's game with Columbus because a recurrence of soreness in his right shoulder, but he was back in the lineup as the designated hitter on Sunday, going 0-for-4. ¶
   OTHER STUFF -- The Tribe was 14-16 in May, following an 8-14 record in April. *elip Jhonny Peralta's game-winning single was his third career walk-off hit and fourth walk-off RBI. Peralts batted .319 with one homer and 15 RBI in May. *elip Ben Francisco stole his ninth base of the season; he's been thrown out only once. *elip Kelly Shoppach struck out four times Sunday and has gone down on strikes seven times in his past nine at-bats. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Joe Smith made his first appearance in Columbus on his rehab assignment and pitched one scoreless inning, giivng up one hit, one walk and striking out one. *elip Lucas Montero tripled and singled, driving in one run, but Kinston lost 8-3 to Winston-Salem. *elip T.J. House gave up one run, six hits and two walks in 61/3 innings, as Lake County beat West Virginia 2-1. Donnie Webb drove in a run with a double and single, and Abner Abreu hit his sixth home run of the season. ¶

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