INDIANAPOLIS — He was the last player in the dugout after batting practice on Tuesday, standing by the tunnel that leads to the clubhouse.
Austin Meadows was waiting patiently for Indianapolis hitting coach Butch Wynegar to finish talking with a Lehigh Valley coach after batting practice. The 21-year-old centerfielder wanted to get some extra work done in the indoor batting cage.
And that was after Meadows took batting practice on the field for the first time in his rehabilitation process since being put on the disabled list on July 5.
“We just really started with him swinging against live pitching,” Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor said. “[Monday] was the first day he was thrown to and [Tuesday] was the first day on the field.”
But Meadows has not done any running yet. The best case scenario is Meadows would be back in ten days but he’s more likely going to be out a little longer than that, Treanor said.
“He really hasn’t started running yet and that’s going to be the biggest factor,” Treanor said. “We’ll do all of that and then they have it mapped out.”
Meadows said his hamstring was bothering him while he was in Altoona, before being promoted to Indianapolis on June 18.
“It was bothering me there for a little bit,” Meadows said. “Not too much, but it kind of progressed. It’s kind of hard to keep it healthy when you’re playing everyday. We decided to shut it down and try to get back out there soon.”
Meadows hit .311 in 45 games with Altoona. He played 12 games with Indianapolis before being put on the disabled list, hitting .239. But if you take out an 0-for-19 series he had at Gwinnett in front of about 90 family and friends, Meadows is hitting .407 with the Indians.
“Everything is going well right now,” Meadows said. “I’m not sure on the time table. I’m just really, each and every day, trying to get better in the rehab process. But things are going really smooth right now and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”
There’s no rush for Meadows to return and the team will likely be cautious with his return, waiting until he’s fully healed. But it appears Meadows will be back in the lineup in a few weeks.
** Frank Duncan was placed on the disabled list today with a sprained thumb. No word on the severity of the injury yet, but he could just miss one start. Elias Diaz has been added to the Indianapolis roster on rehab and he’s in the lineup tonight.