When the Indians shut down Grady Sizemore for the final week of the season they described the move as precautionary, but yesterday the oft-injured center fielder underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery in Colorado.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the surgery was Sizemore’s fifth in the past three years, but says the good news is that it wasn’t the dreaded microfracture operation that Sizemore had on his left knee last year.
Sizemore will have plenty of time to get healthy by spring training, but he may not be reporting to camp with the Indians. Cleveland holds an $8.5 million option or $500,000 buyout on Sizemore for 2012 and general manager Chris Antonetti declined to share any insight when asked about the odds of exercising it.
Once upon a time that option seemed like a no-brainer pickup, but Sizemore has missed 56, 129, and 91 games in the past three seasons and has hit just .220 with a .280 on-base percentage and .379 slugging percentage since the beginning of 2010. Cleveland must decide on the option within three days after the World Series ends, so Sizemore won’t be recovered from this latest surgery when the $8 million choice is made.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.