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Transactions: (Mostly) Bad Injury News: Sizemore, Tomlin, Hafner, R. Perez, Carrasco, Chisenhall

Perhaps we've seen both these mainstays for the last time in an Indians uniform.
Perhaps we've seen both these mainstays for the last time in an Indians uniform.

No true transactions here, but the news released by the Indians does have present and future roster implications.

Let's take the pieces of news one at a time from this story:

Head trainer Lonnie Soloff said Tuesday that Sizemore will not play this year because of recurring pain in his right knee...

This seemed inevitable; once Sizemore had the setback in July, missing the rest of the season seemed a given. First the knee surgery last offseason, then the back injury in spring training, and now a setback on the knee.

The Indians have been fortunate in that Michael Brantley has emerged as a good starting center fielder this year, but losing a talent like Sizemore for essentially the last 3.5 years has been a cruel blow to this franchise and frankly, to baseball. Grady could still play again I suppose, but I feel safe in saying that he won't be nearly the same player he was in his all-too-brief heyday.

This quote from the 29-year-old Sizemore on Brantley's home run-robbing catch in Chicago captures the sadness of the situation perfectly:

"It was impressive, really good," said the former Gold Glove center fielder. "Those are things I used to be able to do."


...and that Tomlin will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Wednesday in Los Angeles. Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the surgery.

This was also expected. Tomlin was shut down at the end of last season with elbow soreness, and he's been pitching with a partially-torn ligament for a couple seasons now. He'll be largely in the same position Carlos Carrasco was at this time last season: he might pitch in 2013, but only then in minor-league games. So the Indians are losing depth for 2013 already.

Speaking of Carrasco, a piece of good news on the injury front:

• Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who had Tommy John surgery last year, is scheduled to start pitching in a game this week in the Arizona Rookie League.

Carrasco, if he's healthy, is going to be a part of next year's rotation, so even though he likely won't pitch in Cleveland this season, it's important that he progress to the point where he can have a relatively normal off-season.

Bad to bad news:

It's still unclear if DH Travis Hafner will return before the end of the season. He is being treated for a bulging disc in his back.

I'm taking "unclear" to portend bad things, especially with Hafner's injury. Jim Thome had a bad back 10 years ago when the Indians didn't re-sign him, so a back injury doesn't necessarily mean that a big power hitter is in trouble, but with everything else that Hafner has dealt with over the past 4-5 years, adding a back injury to mix almost seems like a tipping point to me. He's going to be a free agent this winter after the Indians decline his 2013 option, and the back injury, in addition to the other injuries, is going to scare many clubs away from offering a multi-year deal. So that could lead to a Sizemore-like one-year deal with the Indians, though it would have to be at the right price.

Good news:

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (broken right ulna bone) could be back playing in September.

Hopefully the means at least a couple weeks' worth of at-bats, as Chisenhall is Cleveland's starting third baseman next year. Jack Hannahan is now hitting .222/.293/.324, and at this point I think I think the Indians will non-tender him. He's an excellent defender, but excellent defenders at corner positions also have to be able to hit at least a little.

Back to bad news:

Left-hander Rafael Perez is still recovering from sprained right ankle. He has not pitched since late April because of a strained left lat.

It hasn't really affected the Indians this year, as they've had bigger problems, but there's been no good left-handed reliever in the bullpen all season. Perez has gotten hurt, Sipp has struggled, Nick Hagadone struggled before he lost a battle with a wall, and Scott Barnes wasn't able to have success in the big leagues.

Perez will be eligible for arbitration again this year, and after the 2013 season he'll be a free agent.