Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore still hasn’t started running yet

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Grady Sizemore initially hoped to be back in the Indians’ lineup by now following knee and back surgeries, but instead the center fielder’s rehab was sidetracked several times and now he’s yet to resume running.

Three weeks ago Sizemore vented some of his understandable frustration with yet another slower-than-expected recovery from a major injury, saying: “I can’t even explain it. It’s almost feels like a part of you is missing.”

He also spoke about the importance of taking things slow to avoid further setbacks and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that “there’s still no hint of when or if Sizemore will return” except that it certainly won’t be before the All-Star break.

General manager Chris Antonetti described himself as “still optimistic that Grady will contribute this year” after re-signing with the Indians on a one-year, $5 million contract, but clearly that’s no longer viewed as a sure thing and in the meantime Johnny Damon will continue to play regularly.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.

Nats expected to consider Cal Ripken for the manager job

Cal Ripken Jr

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.

This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.

I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.