Though he has been predictably weak with the bat, Crowe has provided plus defense in the corner outfield spots and league average defense in center. Unfortunately he spent much of 2010 playing through pain in his shoulder and it was simply too much to deal with this spring. Now he's gone under the knife for surgery on that shoulder and is expected to miss around four months recovering.
With their primary center field option (Sizemore) still working his way back in extended spring training where he's likely to remain for at least a few more weeks, and Crowe on the DL, the Indians have been forced to make some adjustments on the fly. In center they've shifted Michael Brantley over from left, while moving 4th outfielder Austin Kearns into the starting role in left.
That also cleared the way for former top prospect Travis Buck, who got some ink here last week, to make the roster and potentially show off his talents one last time in a bid to once again put himself on rack for a Major League future. So far Buck is 2-8 with a single and a double, while Brantley the speedy Brantley has gone 4-12 with a double and a walk at the top of the Indians order.
Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery.