Sizemore taking rough start to heart

Sizemore taking rough start to heart

TORONTO -- With the Indians getting off to such a poor start this year, it's understandable that each of the club's players would react differently. Entering Monday's game against the Blue Jays, the Tribe sat in the cellar of the American League Central -- not exactly where the team had envisioned itself in May.

One player that manager Eric Wedge believes is taking Cleveland's rough stretch to heart is center fielder Grady Sizemore.

A fixture with the Indians since his 2004 arrival in the big leagues, Sizemore has been a critical contributor to their offensive attack, eventually growing to become one of the faces of the franchise. Recently though, the 26-year-old has struggled at the plate.

"I think he's trying to do a little bit too much," Wedge said when questioned about Sizemore's current struggles. "I think he feels a great responsibility for his team and his teammates. I think sometimes he makes it a little tougher on himself. He's such a good kid, has a big heart, great competitor.

"It bothers everybody when you get off to a start like this. I think some people feel more responsible than others."

Over his past eight games, Sizemore has hit just .176 (6-for-34). Wedge even acknowledged that Sizemore's at-bats have been slightly uncommon of late.

"I think that when you try to do a little too much or try to make up for something, you can get a little bit uncharacteristic with your game," Wedge said.

As for the current state of his struggling club, which was 9-16 prior to Monday's series opener at Rogers Centre, Wedge believes that things are close to turning around, with the Indians having played some tightly contested games of late.

"We've been so close," Wedge said. "For three or four series, we've been right there -- had won, could have won or should have won. It was one play or maybe one at-bat or one pitch that was the difference. That's the big leagues. More times than not, when you're playing tight games, that is going to be the difference.

"It comes in bunches," Wedge continued. "We're just a fraction away from being a much better ballclub in a hurry, I think."

David Singh is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.