Notes: Wedge not worried about Grady
Team, fans expect big things from center fielder in 2007
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Outstanding Spring Training stats and a quarter will buy you a phone call -- if you can even find a phone booth, nowadays. The numbers down here, positive or negative, don't add up to much.Nevertheless, one can't help but be incredulous to look down and see Grady Sizemore in a full-fledged funk at the plate. Sizemore went 1-for-4 in Sunday's game against the Dodgers to bring his spring average to .128 (6-for-47) with two homers, seven RBIs and eight strikeouts. The one hit Sunday is of note, though, as Sizemore legged out a triple, despite right fielder James Loney's impressive attempt to nab the fly ball with a diving catch. Sizemore's ghastly batting average is hardly what you expect from a guy some consider to be an MVP candidate. But any talk of that stat is greeted with the expected -- a half-hearted shrug. "He's fine," manager Eric Wedge said. "The last two or three games, he's swung real well but hit the ball right at people." For his part, Sizemore treats Spring Training as little more than a get-the-kinks-out exercise. "You just try to get your timing back down," said Sizemore, who, for the insatiably curious, hit .323 (21-for-65) last spring. "You're always working to make improvements. You're getting used to playing every day and getting your timing back." The topic of Sizemore led to a general discussion on what statistics Wedge pays attention to in the spring. Batting average, apparently, isn't one of them. "I look at at-bats and certain other things, but not average," he said. "We've got a feel for where guys are at. I look at games, innings and at-bats -- making sure guys are getting their work in." With 14 games under his belt, Sizemore, at the least, is doing that. Deal or no deal? Jake Westbrook went six innings Sunday, giving up a pair of runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout. Westbrook's agent, Michael Maas, and the Indians have been in discussions about a contract extension, as the right-hander's current deal expires after this year. But all parties involved have been tight-lipped as to whether any progress has been made. "They're still talking," Westbrook said. General manager Mark Shapiro has said negotiations will only extend into the season if there is momentum toward a deal. Up close and personal: A complete time warp doesn't occur when one steps into Dodgertown. It just feels that way.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.