As we have now heard, Grady Sizemore is expected to miss a good deal of the year, if not the whole season due to his knee, which needs surgery. This raises several questions for the Indians, the most important of which is what to do in center field.

Michael Brantley was kept in AAA with the Columbus Clippers not because he was playing bad, but because the Indians wanted him to play every day. Well, with Sizemore gone, he can be brought up and can play every day. We can see how good the young prospect can be under pressure, and it works well for the Tribe.

However, if Brantley is brought up, what do we do with Trevor Crowe? He’s played fine as the replacement for Sizemore up to this point, and it would be a shame to demote him, since I would like to see both him and Brantley get some daily playing time. Unfortunately for Crowe, the other two outfield positions are our two solid positions right now in Austin Kearns and Shin-Soo Choo.

Crowe hasn’t played second base professionally since 2006, so that’s not an option to get him playing time, and he’ll probably end up being demoted. Speaking of second base play, I just can’t stand keeping Luis Valbuena on the roster anymore.

I know we’re trying to develop our young talent and we are not going anywhere this year, but when’s the last time a semi-regular player on the roster has hit .134? You would have to go back to the pitching season of 1968, when Detroit Tigers shortstop Ray Oyler hit .135 in 215 at-bats (29 hits). Valbuena’s nearly halfway there, with 97 at-bats and 13 hits.

The problem is, with how terrible Valbuena is, who do we bring up? Brian Bixler and Anderson Hernandez are not on the 40-man roster, and are not in the Indians’ future plans, but they’e played in the majors, why not see how they can do for a little while? I’d be fine with playing Mark Grudzielanek every day, but we’re trying to develop talent, so handing a spot to a 40-year old does not fit.

With Valbuena, the Indians are in a no-win situation, figuratively and literally. If we get desperate we can promote Cord Phelps to AAA and see if that lights a fire under Valbuena, though honestly if the fires already lit under him haven’t helped, then I say we have to demote him. If nothing else, he can find his hitting confidence again down in Columbus.

At least the Tribe finally promoted Jensen Lewis back up, if nothing else.

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