Indians’ Choo Shin-soo may need surgery on thumb
Choo, hoping to be selected to the All-Star team, instead went to the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a sprained right thumb.
He hopes to avoid surgery that would sideline him for a couple of months.
“I have to go see another doctor Tuesday and there’s a chance I could need surgery,” Choo said as he sat in the Cleveland clubhouse, his right hand covered by a protective wrap.
“If that happens,” Choo added, “I can’t help my team and that really bothers me. We were just starting to put it together and get some wins.”
A week ago, Choo’s two home runs helped the Indians snap a seven-game losing streak with a 5-3 win in Cincinnati. Cleveland had won six of seven entering play Sunday against Oakland.
The Indians are now without their three best position players.
Outfielder Grady Sizemore is out for the season following knee surgery in mid-May. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been out since May 18 with a broken left forearm.
“It is kind of weird to lose your No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 players,” manager Manny Acta said.
“This is very tough for us and sad for the kid. He was on his way to having a very good season. He was leading our team in just about every offensive category.”
Choo had five homers in nine games before Friday night, when he was hurt trying to make a diving catch during the eighth inning of a 3-0 loss to the Athletics.
He was hitting .286 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 78 games overall.
“If I need surgery, I’m out six to eight weeks,” Choo said. “I really hope it is not that long.”
Acta said that the Indians could get a lift later this month when Cabrera returns.
“Asdrubal is taking ground balls and he will go with us to Tampa and take batting practice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Acta said. “Then we’ll see if he’s able to go on a rehab assignment.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because of the injuries. They give us a chance to see if some of our young guys can join our core group for next season.”
Acta said Michael Brantley, recalled from Triple-A Columbus to replace Choo, will be the everyday center fielder, with Trevor Crowe moving over to left field.
Austin Kearns will switch from left to replace Choo in right.
Brantley opened the season in Cleveland, but hit only .156 in nine games and was optioned to Columbus on April 19. He hit .315 in 59 games for the Clippers.
Choo missed the last part of the 2007 season and the first two months of 2008 after having left elbow reconstructive surgery.
He hit .309 with 14 homers in 94 games when he came back in 2008 and followed up in 2009 by hitting .300 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs in 156 games.