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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 21, 2017

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Injuries Begin To Clear As Camp Winds Down

 

By A.J. Atkinson

When the Tribe failed to bring in a strong offensive bat this offseason like Michael Cuddyer or Josh Willingham, more pressure for offensive production was placed on Cleveland’s current outfielders.

When Grady Sizemore went down with a back injury in early March that is expected to sideline him for at least eight more weeks, more pressure was put on Indians’ left fielder Michael Brantley.

So when Brantley left Monday’s game with a sore left hamstring, Cleveland fans’ hope for a strong season began to dissipate.

Indians’ manager Manny Acta addressed those fears after Wednesday’s spring training game.

“Our medical staff feels it will take three to five days,” Acta said. “He showed up (Monday) with a sore left hamstring, but still probably three to five days.”

The outfielders’ health isn’t the only position Tribe fans have had to worry about. In his first bullpen session of the spring, Tribe closer Chris Perez strained an oblique muscle. Now, Chris Perez is throwing simulated bullpen sessions and may be ready to pitch today (Friday).

Acta said he was very impressed with Chris Perez’s bullpen session Wednesday.

“He looked really good. He was able to throw all his pitches,” Acta said. “Slider was very good. I was very impressed. I’m excited to get him out there. I think we have plenty of time before Opening Day.”

As for left-handed reliever Rafael Perez, who exited spring training workouts in early March due to a sore left shoulder, he appeared in Wednesday’s game. Perez struck out two and retired the third in his one inning he pitched.

“Very good. He was around the strike zone,” Acta said of Rafael Perez. “A good slider. Was able to face lefties and able to retire them no problem. Good to see no traffic on the bases.”

For Robinson Tejeda, however, overcoming an early spring training injury may be harder.

“Now that we’re ending the end of spring training, starting pitchers are throwing deeper into games,” Acta said. “It’s going to get harder to get people caught up.”

Not having Tejada wouldn’t be the worst for the Indians. He only pitched 7.1 innings due to a shoulder injury last year with the Royals. The most important information is Chris Perez, Rafael Perez, and Brantley should all be healthy for Opening Day.

Photo: Associated Press

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