Guardians Notes: Austin Hedges, on IL with concussion, starting to feel like himself again

92.3 The Fan
92.3 The Fan

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Guardians catcher Austin Hedges is starting to feel like himself again according to manager Terry Francona.

“A lot of improvement, which is really good to see,” Francona said Wednesday afternoon. “I think [Tuesday] he had more of a Hedgie personality than he’s had for a couple days, so I think he’s doing OK. There was a chance he was gonna catch a bullpen today, but he has to work up to that.”

Hedges, who was placed on the seven-day injured list retroactive to June 26, has struggled at the plate this season collecting just 23 hits in 144 at-bats. He has five home runs and 15 RBI but it’s his defense behind the plate and the intangibles he brings behind the scenes that Francona values most.

“I was trying to tell him the other day, because he was feeling guilty, ‘Hedgie,’ I said, ‘You can’t … you do everything for this team,’” Francona said. “You have that angle that maybe a lot of people don’t have. He is invested in every pitch of every game, of every pitcher, always trying to pick somebody up. It’s pretty impressive.”

Recharging the batteries – Following Tuesday’s doubleheader neither team took batting practice Wednesday afternoon.

A few Guardians players went in the cages under the stands next to the clubhouse down the third base line to get some swings in.

In the clubhouse, they hardly looked like a team that has lost six of seven and scored just 12 runs over that stretch. A couple of players sat at a table playing a hand of Monopoly Deal while Eli Morgan put together his new scooter for getting around downtown faster in front of his locker.

Across the room, Ernie Clement, Myles Straw and a few teammates played a game of H-O-R-S-E on their mini hoop that hangs on one of the back columns in the clubhouse.

Bum thumb – Jose Ramirez’s sore thumb isn’t keeping him out of the lineup after he was given a couple of days off over the weekend.

“It must be OK,” Francona said. “We told him we weren’t gonna bug him about it. We said, ‘hey, just let us know.’ And he hasn’t said a word.”

Ramirez collected a pair of doubles during Tuesday’s doubleheader giving him 45 extra base hits this season, one more than Boston’ Rafael Devers for the Major League lead.

With his double in the nightcap, Ramirez tied Albert Belle for 10 th place on the all-time franchise list for extra base hits with 481. He is three shy of tying Manny Ramirez for ninth. Carlos Santana holds the record with 503.

Survey says – Architects and engineers have been combing through Progressive Field the last few weeks to survey the ballpark and begin the process of drawing new blueprints for the renovations that are forthcoming.

Final architectural renderings of the ballpark transformation are expected later this year.

The Guardians originally planned to move to the first base dugout and expand team amenities for players including the indoor cages, therapy rooms, locker room, showers as well as coaching offices and lockers, but those plans remain up in the air.

The original proposed construction schedule timeline for the various proposed projects to be redone may also be adjusted.

Plans to overhaul the Terrace Club on the left field line along with the right field upper deck remain part of the scope of work, which is scheduled to begin as soon as the season concluded and be completed by opening day 2025.

The entire project is expected to cost $435 million.

Roster moves – Konnor Pilkington was officially optioned back to AAA Columbus after starting Game 2 Tuesday as the 27 th player. He threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Right-hander Tanner Tully, designated for assignment on June 27, cleared waivers and was optioned to AAA Columbus.

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