It has been a long time, if ever, that the Indians have had a player with the kind of tools Grady Sizemore possesses. The injuries that have taken away most of his last few seasons have taken a lot of excitement out of watching the Tribe on a regular basis. That being said, with his spring debut (hopefully) coming up on Sunday, I fear that the team might be bringing him back too soon.
In all reality, barring a miracle the Indians won’t be contending this year. The majority of fans would love to see Grady stealing bases and stuffing the highlight reels on the 11 p.m. SportsCenter as soon as possible, but at what cost? If they bring him back too soon, he may have a major setback and for what, to squeeze out an extra couple wins? Honestly, a few extra W’s in April probably won’t matter to a team like the Indians. What is really going to matter is that Grady is healthy and ready to go in 2012 when the team actually has a chance to make some serious noise in the AL Central. If the have to hold him out until May, fine. All-Star break? That’s kosher with me. Just as long as they don’t rush him, we are all better off, though a guy like Grady is hard to keep of the field and I’m sure he’s itching to get back.
While my mind is on 2012, I’d like to give some kudos to the Tribe’s front office for sending down Lonnie Chisenhall. It’s obvious that he is ready to give it a go at the big league level. However, we are all fully aware that the third base job is his next year without question. What we aren’t sure of is which of these other career backups is, well, going to be the backup.
As with Sizemore, there is no real reason to throw Chisenhall into the fire too soon. Don’t tell that to Kenny Roda, though. On his show on 850 WKNR, he ripped the front office for sending Lonnie down because he felt it was a financial decision. He may be right, it may have been a move meant to keep him an extra year away from arbitration. So what if it was? That is a good business move for a small market team because it guarantees them an extra year before he can become a free agent. Besides, bringing a player up too early can be a disaster if they then have to be sent back to the minors. It can damage a kid’s psyche. On top of that, you would then spend one minor league option on doing so. Very good job by the team, in my opinion. Hopefully they can continue to make good decisions, because 2012 just keeps looking better and better.