He’s Baaaaaa-aaaaack!

The Indians won… again!

With their victory yesterday they ran their record to 10-4 and maintained a share of first place with… the Kansas City Royals?  Am I living in some type of bizarro world where up is down, top is bottom, and the Indians and Royals are actually good?  Apparently I am and I’ll take it.  I’m so excited about this team that there isn’t anything that could possibly dampen my mood.  In all honesty I didn’t know how I could possibly get any more excited than I already am.

And then I checked out the lineups for today’s series finale with the Orioles.  Batting lead off for the first time in almost a year, slotted in his customary center field position… Grady Sizemore.  I’m excited even though he’s coming off of a serious knee surgery and hasn’t played in a meaningful game in almost a year.  This is huge.

And all of you are asking, “what’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that this could have one of two effect on the Indians.  The first and most obvious is that Sizemore gets back in the lineup and provides even more offensive spark than what they’ve already had to start off this season.  The second and more worrisome effect is that he fails to perform and kills the top of the order and in the process, because of a demotion and position switch, kills Michael Brantley’s confidence in the process.  I won’t lie, I’m a little worried for exactly that reason.  Brantley has been playing great as both the center fielder and lead off hitter.  Moving him could hurt his fragile young ego.  Especially if Sizemore struggles and Acta refuses to put things back how they were.  The Indians are off to a great start.  It would be a shame to ruin it by trying to fix what ain’t broken.

I would be much more comfortable if Sizemore were batting down in the 7 spot in the lineup.  That spot, for the most part, has been occupied by either Austin Kearns or Travis Buck.  Neither of them have really contributed much thus far.  Placing Sizemore in their spot would really be a no risk kind of move.  Things couldn’t get any less productive.  So why not put him in the 7 hole?  That’s a question better left for Manny Acta to answer.

As for Grady, this is a victory.  when he gets into the batters box in the bottom of the first he should get the standing ovation he deserves, even if it is from a whopping 10,000 people or so.  And that might just be why Acta has chosen to play him and sit Brantley today.  Let Grady have his moment today in front of the fans and then worry about integrating him and Brantley away from the confines of Jacobs Field… errr… Progressive Field.  Travis Buck also had a great game yesterday so playing him a second day in a row makes sense.  Either way, today is an exciting day for Indians fans.

Here are the lineups…

Indians:

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Travis Buck, LF
  8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  • Fausto Carmona, P

Orioles

  1. Brian Roberts, 2B
  2. Nick Markakis, RF
  3. Derek Lee, 1B
  4. Vlad Guerrero, DH
  5. Luke Scott, LF
  6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  7. Felix Pie, CF
  8. Matt Wieters, C
  9. Cesar Izturis, SS
  • Brad Bergesen, P
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