Grady Sizemore won’t be back in the Indians’ lineup this month, but the oft-injured center fielder has been cleared to resume baseball activities following sports hernia surgery on July 21 and is optimistic about returning at some point in September.
In addition to the surgery Sizemore is also recovering from ongoing knee problems, but has advanced to playing catch, hitting off a tee, and running on an “anti-gravity treadmill” that simulates different body weights and “reduces stress on a runner’s legs,” according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Sizemore sat out 56 games in 2009 and 129 games in 2010, and has already missed 57 games this season, so by the time he returns in September he’ll have played in just 200 of the past 460 or so games. With the Indians holding an $8.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout for 2012 the impact of his comeback goes beyond the September push for a division title.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.