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Cleveland Indians

Sore elbow keeps Sizemore as DH

By Sheldon Published: May 20, 2009

  KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Grady Sizemore isn't the designated hitter type. ¶
   Too restless, too hyperactive is Sizemore, who now is No. 2 in the Indians' batting order. ¶
   And for the second consecutive game, Sizemore was the DH Wednesday night against the Royals. ¶
   Manager Eric Wedge was hoping that Sizemore would extricate himself from the slump that has been plaguing him almost from Day 1 of the season. That didn't happen, so Wedge began giving him periodic days off, allowing Sizemore to get away from the various pressures that can derail a hitter faster than a 98 mile-per-hour fastball. ¶
   Sizemore didn't play Sunday and Monday was an off day. When play resumed Tuesday night, he was dropped from the leadoff spot to No. 2 in the order and had to watch Ben Francisco patrol his position, center field. ¶
   Same thing Wednesday night and not only because Sizemore is fighting a batting skid. ¶
   ""Grady's elbow is a little sore,'' Wedge said. ""So we're trying to do a couple of things: Get his mind off it a little bit and get him off his feet a little bit.'' ¶
   Wedge insisted there is no reason to think Sizemore's injury is anything serious. Sizemore's elbow soreness hasn't even required a doctor's examination, according to the manager. However, Sizemore began to feel pain in the elbow two weeks ago. Since then, the soreness has become at least marginally worse. ¶
   ""We're trying to get his swing back,'' Wedge said. ""We're seeing a couple of good swings a night. I think he created some bad habits, and he needs to work beyond them.'' ¶
   Sizemore began Wednesday night's game with a .215 batting average and .295 on-base percentage, unacceptable for a leadoff hitter. Normally, Sizemore is one of the league leaders in scoring runs, but at the moment he's only fifth on the team with 21. ¶
   There is an argument to be made that if Sizemore is in the lineup, he might as well bat in the leadoff spot. Even if he bats second, his mindset would dictate that he be the best No. 2 hitter possible, which would create as much stress as if he led off. ¶
   Wedge didn't buy it, saying, ""I don't necessarily agree with that. Leading off a game is just different, and Grady wants to be the guy who gets on base to start the game. I think this (batting second) alleviates a lot of that.'' ¶
   How long will Sizemore be the DH? ¶
   ""He could play center right now,'' Wedge said. ""So we'll take this day to day and see how he feels.''  ¶
   EXTREME PAIN -- Manager Eric Wedge has not been through a team slump such as the one the Indians are going through, one in which they have lost six games in the opponent's last at-bat. ¶
   ""It kicks you to the ground,'' he said. ""I'd be lying if I said otherwise. That's where the word separate has to be taken seriously. You have to utilize it every day. Put on a happy face and get after it. ¶
   ""We're in the middle of something that I don't think any of us has been through before. But it's not going to continue. It can't.'' ¶
   Wedge continues to come up with ways to break the spell. ¶
   ""You spend 24 hours a day figuring out what you can do to work through this,'' he said. ""Then you see a game like last night and think, "What are you going to do?' '' ¶
   Tuesday night, the Tribe led the Royals 5-2 lead going into the ninth, only to see Kerry Wood give up four runs. ¶
   DONE DEAL? -- Jhonny Peralta has played third five of the past six games. Does that mean the job belongs to him? ¶
   ""I wouldn't say that yet,'' Wedge said. ""But I like what I'vse been seeing.'' ¶
   HERE THEY COME -- Pitchers have been taking batting practice and bunting practice for a couple of weeks in anticipation of interleague play, which begins in Cincinnati on Friday. ¶
   ""I don't want them to do too much because of possibility of injury,'' Wedge said. ¶
   Wedge doesn't always watch. ¶
   ""I get a full evaluation about who can bunt and who can hit,'' he said. ""Also, who thinks they can hit, and there's a lot of that.'' ¶
   VISITOR FROM THE DL -- Joe Smith (strained rotator cuff) will throw a bullpen in Cincinnati over the weekend. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Lonnie Chisenhall hit his seventh home run of the year in Kinston's 4-3 loss to Potomac. Eric Berger worked 52/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walks. ¶

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