This is rather overdue, but the day after praising Sizemore for having a warrior-like mentality about staying on the field for what is in effect, a lost cause, Grady has decided to call it quits for 2009 and focus on the future. After all, that is what is important at this time. The younger guys can take the field from here on out and show the front office what they are capable of, and that will have no effect on Sizemore or the other proven players whatsoever.
There is no need going through the numbers again. The average is down. The power is down, and the steals are way…way…down. Like I said previously, the fact that the number of stolen bases is lower is not a concern, but the number of times he has been caught stealing is. His stolen base success rate nosedived from what was roughly 79% for his career, down to about 61% this season. Sizemore’s speed on the bases is certainly a weapon that Cleveland doesn’t want to holster all of next season.
This all begs the question: What does a bum elbow have to do with stealing bases? Unfortunately, I would say not a whole lot. Does Sizemore’s further reliance on the long ball foreshadow what could be the next step in his career? Vlad Guerrero was a similar player in Montreal and during his earlier days in Anaheim. Guerrero was a multi-talented player who could destroy the opposition with power, average, and speed. Now, Guerrero has been reduced to a bat with slow wheels…in the field or on the bases.
After praising Grady’s grit throughout the season, I can not blame him or the Indians one bit for shutting him down now. This makes all the sense in the world, and surprises me only in that it was not done sooner. Sizemore can use this extra time to get in the best possible shape for 2010, a season that could see the Indians as one of the most unpredictable teams in the league.