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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 8/28
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
In todays B-List, Buff looks back at last nights 6-4 win over the Jays, which was the 14th Indian win in the last 19 games. And Grady Freaking Sizemore ... good god. The kid now leads the AL in extra base hits, doubles, and runs. Buff also hits on his boy Ferd Cabrera's resurgence, Choo's cannon throwing arm, and Garko's offensive prowess.
I was so excited about the A.J. Burnett - Paul Byrd matchup, I bought a trumpet for my son on eBay instead.  Two damned good free agent signings right there, boy-ee!

1) You know, this guy Sizemore might turn out to be pretty good

With two doubles, a homer, and 3 runs scored, Grady Sizemore now leads the AL in extra-base hits, runs, and doubles.  If he hits a triple in the next month, he'll become the first Cleveland player to have double-digit doubles, triples, homers, and stolen bases in two consecutive seasons.  Among other things, this means I totally missed the fact that he did it last year.  Although I've thought of Sizemore as being miscast as a leadoff hitter, the fact is that he sports a .379 OBP, just fine for a leadoff (I want .400, but I'm pretty greedy), and a healthy 83 points more than his batting average.  He slugs .530, having taken 6 of his last 7 hits for extra bases.  The fact that he has 59 RBI suggests that the bottom of the Cleveland order has consisted of players such as Aaron Boone, Ramon Vazquez, and Tim Laker.

Although write-ups applaud his hustling, all-out style (and it is both gratifying and fun to watch), I wonder aloud whether the time may be coming to try to protect Sizemore from himself for the long haul.  I'm not talking about shutting him down or anything: all I mean is that there are two things the Indians could do to protect their investment that wouldn't hurt the team's performance or Sizemore's joie de vivre.  First, move him to left field: he's a good enough center fielder, but his arm is nothing special, and the opportunities to run full-speed into stationary objects are usually fewer in left than center.  Second, move him down in the order (to, say, third), which would take advantage of his power and run-producing skills better anyway, in order to lessen the temptation to run the bases like a nut.

I'm not entirely sure how best to accomplish this, but while the Indians Brain Trust is considering moving minor-leaguer Trevor Crowe to second base and having him hit leadoff, I wonder if maybe leaving him as a center fielder might not have a better overall cascade effect.  The flip side is that it's generally easier to acquire an offensive left fielder from another team (trade or free agency) than a defensive center fielder.  We'll see how this plays out: the only given is that Grady Sizemore is going to be a damn fun player to watch in an Indians uniform.

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