KANSAS CITY -- The Indians plan on being cautious with Grady Sizemore, considering he is returning from microfracture surgery on his left knee. The center fielder is healthy, but the club still wants to provide him with scheduled days of rest.
Sizemore's first day off from the starting lineup since rejoining the Tribe came on Tuesday, when the Royals sent lefty Bruce Chen to the mound. Indians manager Manny Acta felt it was an opportune time to give Sizemore time to rest his legs.
"These first five games," Acta explained, "he wasn't going to play more than two in a row. It worked out very well where we played two games and the third day it's a left-handed pitcher."
Sizemore, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, went 5-for-9 with one home run, two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs in his first two games back with Cleveland. On Tuesday, Michael Brantley returned to the leadoff role and center field with Sizemore on the bench.
When Sizemore is in the lineup, Brantley shifts from center field to left for the Indians. The combination of Brantley, Sizemore and Shin-Shoo Choo from left to right field provides Acta with a sound defensive trio.
"It's a luxury," Acta said of having Brantley in left field. "It's a luxury to have a good center fielder playing left for you. Having those three guys running balls down, it's a beauty."