The initial word on Grady Sizemore’s knee is encouraging

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Grady Sizemore anticipated the worst after re-injuring his right knee during Sunday’s game, but at the moment, it appears another microfracture surgery is not in his future.

Sizemore underwent an MRI on Monday and according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the initial report from the Indians is that the bone bruise is not the same kind of injury that caused him to have microfracture surgery on his left knee last season.

“It doesn’t appear to be anything as serious as my fears,” said manager Manny Acta.

Sizemore missed just two weeks after injuring his right knee in June. While today’s news is encouraging, there is no current timetable for his return.

Despite his knee problems, Hoynes writes that “chances are good” that the Indians will exercise Sizemore’s $8.5 million club option for 2012. The 28-year-old is batting .237/.304/.466 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 257 plate appearances this season. He is 0-for-2 in stolen base attempts.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.