Grady Sizemore won’t return during August

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The Indians gave Grady Sizemore’s recovery a 4-6 week timetable when he underwent surgery for a hernia on July 18, but manager Manny Acta said Tuesday that it’s likely to be longer than that now.

Acta ruled out a return for Sizemore during the month of August, though he did say Sizemore could resume playing catch and swinging a bat by the end of the week.  There’s no guarantee that Sizemore, also plagued by knee problems, will return this season.

Sizemore hit .237/.304/.466 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in 232 at-bats before going down last month.

In better news for the Indians, Shin-Soo Choo began his rehab assignment as planned Monday, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout for low Single-A Lake County.  Choo, coming back from a fractured left thumb, will DH for Lake County tonight and then get Wednesday off.  He could rejoin the Indians in 7-10 days.

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.