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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grady Sizemore Has a Sore Elbow, How Much Should We Read Into That

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM

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It was announced by Eric Wedge yesterday that Grady Sizemore, who is mired in a pretty damn terrible slump, has been suffering from a sore left elbow. Here's some quotes:

"It's something he's been battling off and on all year," Wedge said. "He's a tough cookie."

And...

"It's hasn't been something [bothering him] every day," Wedge said. "It's just flared up on him right now."

And....

"[It's] bothered him on and off," Wedge said. "We're listing him as day to day."

Except, if you're a very perceptive Indians fan, you know that none of those quotes by Eric Wedge have anything to do with Grady Sizemore. Those are all quotes given during May or June of last year speaking about Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Here's Wedge's real quote about Sizemore:

"His elbow has been a little bit sore," Wedge said. "We've been trying to do a couple of things, obviously, to get his mind off things a little bit and get him off his feet a little bit."

Notice any similarities there? Now, I'm not going to go all conspiracy theorist on you right now and postulate that Sizemore's elbow injury or soreness might be more towards the serious category that landed both Martinez and Hafner on the DL last year, as well as an operating table, but you have to wonder.

I get that veterans play through injuries. It's part of the game. But there's an eerie similarity between the horrendous slump that Sizemore has been in (.287 OBP, .381 SLG, .668 OPS) and the slumps that both Victor and Travis went through last year. And it's a similar pattern from the team. Player A slumps. Nothing wrong with Player A. Player A continues to slump. Team admits small injury to Player A.

Now, whether or not Sizemore will follow the pattern in the weeks/months coming isn't known. The next step would be for him to continue slumping to the point where the team puts him on the DL, orders an MRI, and then something bad happens, like surgery.

Just throwing it out there. It could realistically happen. And regardless of whether there's anything structurally wrong with Grady's elbow, with the way he's playing right now, there's really no harm in putting him on the 15-day DL just so that he can get some rest. Grady's got a -3.9 VORP right now, which quite literally means that a replacement player would bring more to the table. The only player for the Tribe who had/has a lower VORP this season? Tony Graffanino. Yep, that's sad.

It'll be curious to see how this turns out. Does Grady play through it and regain his form? Does Grady play through it and continue his seismic collapse? Or does this play out like the Travis and Victor situations of 2008? My money's on the latter.

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