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.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.