Grady Sizemore was shut down for the rest of the season over the weekend. And while the Indians initially described the decision as a precautionary measure, today’s update from team trainer Lonnie Soloff is somewhat concerning.
According to the Associated Press, Sizemore will have his right knee examined by Dr. Richard Steadman on Monday in Colorado. This is significant because Steadman is the same doctor who performed microfracture surgery on Sizemore’s left knee in June of last year.
“I think we’re going out there just to get another opinion on his knee,” Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said. “What course of action puts Grady in the best possible position to play and perform next year?”
“We’re going out there just with Grady’s best interests in mind, short-term and long-term,” Soloff said. “I think we’re open to (Steadman’s) assessment and his recommendation. … I think that his expertise is what you seek.”
Sizemore was limited to just 71 games this season, batting .224/.285/.422 with 10 home runs, 32 RBI, zero stolen bases and a .706 OPS over 295 plate appearances. The 29-year-old center fielder didn’t make his season debut until mid-April following surgery and then suffered a bone bruise in his right knee and a sports hernia on a slide into second base in May. He served three separate stints on the disabled list this season.
Sizemore is in the final guaranteed year of a six-year, $23.45 million contract. The Indians will soon have to make a decision about whether to pick up his $8.5 million option for 2012 or pay a $500,000 buyout, which will make him a free agent for the first time in his career.
Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.
Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.
Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.
His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.
Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.
Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.
Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.
At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.
However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.
Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.