Cleveland: Grady Sizemore has progressed in his rehab to the point where he has begun playing catch and running outdoors.
“Grady has started to play catch and he began land-based running for the first time today,” head trainer Lonnie Soloff said Wednesday.
Sizemore had been running on a special treadmill that takes the strain off his surgically repaired back. If he has no issues, he will take some dry swings this weekend. After that, the next step will be hitting off a tee and eventually taking batting practice off live pitching.
In March, Sizemore underwent surgery to repair a disc. He is not expected to return to the lineup until June, at the earliest.
CHOO SIDELINED — Shin-Soo Choo was not in the lineup Wednesday after suffering a tight hamstring the previous night.
“Choo was running from first to second,” said manager Manny Acta explaining how the injury occurred. “We could tell in the outfield that he ran kind of slow after a ball, and we talked to him.”
Acta didn’t know when Choo would return to the lineup, but he speculated it would be soon.
“There’s no timetable; he’s day-to-day,” Acta said. “But our medical staff thinks it will only be a couple of days.”
Acta said that Johnny Damon, working out at the Tribe’s extended spring program in Goodyear, Ariz., would not be brought up early to fill in for Choo.
“I don’t think that will be the case,” he said. “We want to make sure that Johnny is right physically.”
Damon, signed last week, did not go to spring training with a team and probably needs at least two weeks of working in the outfield and hitting to prepare for his Indians debut. He is expected to report to Triple-A Columbus by the end of the week to get at-bats against higher-level pitching than is available in Goodyear, Ariz.
FARM FACTS — Matt LaPorta had four hits, including his fifth homer of the season, but Columbus lost 12-8 to Toledo. LaPorta also had two doubles and three RBI. Ezequiel Carrera tripled twice … Jeremie Tice had three hits, including a double, in Carolina’s 14-8 loss to Lynchburg in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker