You may think by the title of this post, I’m referencing the fact that the Indians are in another major losing streak and any dreams of contention are obviously over. Indians fans have known that fact for a while now, and it’s not really a surprise. In this case, I’m referencing two players that are officially done for the season – Grady Sizemore and Josh Tomlin. Tomorrow, Josh Tomlin will have Tommy John surgery on his bad right elbow. Tomlin is the second Indians pitcher in two years to undergo the procedure; Carlos Carrasco had Tommy John surgery last year. It takes about a year to 18 months for a pitcher to return to the majors after the surgery. The Indians are also saying that it is “unlikely” that Grady Sizemore returns to the lineup this year. After recovering from two knee injuries, Sizemore was signed to a $5 million contract prior to this season but sustained a back injury early in spring training. It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Sizemore will not suit up in the Indians’ outfield this year.
You may remember at the end of last season, Tomlin was shut down due to a sore elbow. It seemed innocent at the time, a team that was eliminated from contention being overly cautious with one of their starting pitchers. I really hope that Tomlin’s struggles this year can be directly connected to the elbow, and that he can return from the surgery to pitch again the majors. After Roberto Hernandez’s identity issues, the Indians traded Zach Putnam for Kevin Slowey. It seemed like kind of a panic move at the time, but it’s obvious the team wanted some extra depth in case other starters sustained injuries. The other day, I wondered why I hadn’t heard anything about Slowey for months and was curious as to how he was pitching in Columbus. It turns out that he has been on the Triple-A disabled list since May with a right lat strain. While I haven’t heard anything about him returning this season, the clock is ticking down on the minor league season. Putnam is currently 3-4 with a 4.61 ERA and 1.72 WHIP at Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies system.
As for Sizemore, I’m definitely not surprised that he was unable to return. I’d love to say that I thought his 1-year $5 million contract was a bad idea from the start, but at the time I honestly supported the deal. I definitely did not think they should pick up his option, but the current deal seemed like a low-risk, high-reward scenario. Once he missed spring training though, I knew that he probably wouldn’t be back this season. All I can say is this – it’s really time for the Indians to give up on Sizemore and Travis Hafner for good. I know the Indians plan to decline Hafner’s 2013 option and instead stick with the $2.75 million buyout, but that doesn’t mean that the Indians couldn’t negotiate with him as they did with Sizemore prior to the 2012 season. In fact, if I were a betting woman, I’d go ahead and bet on a Hafner signing for next season. I know he could be quite formidable if healthy, but I’m really tired of the “if healthy” at this point. I wish Sizemore the best and hope that he can stay healthy and return with another team. It’s time for the Indians to move on though.
There is a bit of good news on the injury front:
– It is possible that Lonnie Chisenhall returns from his broken arm sometime in September.
– LeVon Washington, who underwent right hip surgery earlier this season, has resumed in-game activity.
– Carlos Carrasco will probably start throwing in Arizona Rookie League games this week.