As if LeBron and the Cavs weren't bad enough …

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Yesterday couldn’t have gone much worse for the Indians, who announced Asdrubal Cabrera will miss 8-10 weeks following surgery to repair a broken forearm, placed Grady Sizemore on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, and then watched Kerry Wood turn a 4-3 lead into an 8-4 loss to the equally lowly Royals in his disastrous first save chance of the season.
Wood has now allowed seven runs while recording 10 outs since coming off the DL, so whatever slim chance the Indians had of getting any kind of value for him at the trading deadline is rapidly vanishing. He was booed off the field and chucked his glove into the stands for good measure after retiring just one of the seven batters he faced. Chris Perez might be in line to replace Wood if he hadn’t struggled at closer already.
Jason Donald will continue to fill in for Cabrera at shortstop while Trevor Crowe started in center field and led off in place of Sizemore, who was hitting just .211/.271/.289 with zero homers and a ghastly 35/9 K/BB ratio before injuring his knee in an awkward slide Sunday. Sizemore is out indefinitely and may need surgery.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.