Injury has kept Grady Sizemore off the field for the entirety of the 2013 season. Right. Tell me when we get to the part of the story that you haven’t heard before.
Originally a 3rd Round pick in the 2000 Draft by the Montreal Expos, Sizemore was included in one of the most well-known trades in recent MLB history just two years later. The Expos dealt Sizemore, second baseman Brandon Phillips, left-hander Cliff Lee, and first baseman Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians before the 2002 July trade deadline in order to acquire right-handers Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. Sizemore, Phillips, and Lee went on to some great seasons once their careers took them out of Montreal.
By the start of the 2005 season Sizemore had made his way into the Indians’ daily lineup and he’d produce at a high rate over the next four seasons. He’d hit .281/.372/.496 over that stretch – averaging 27 HR, 81 RBI, 29 SB, and 82 BB a year. His defensive exploits were regulars on highlight reels and he’d become a a fan-favorite in and out of Cleveland.
That’s when things started to take a different course.
Having remained healthy over his career up to that point – averaging 160 games a season through 2008 – it was a surprise when Sizemore missed 56 games in 2009 thanks to some concerns in his elbow. He’d recover in time for Spring Training 2010, but just 33 games into the season found himself on the DL and out for the year. A knee bruise led to further evaluations, ultimately resulting in microfracture surgery that led to a lengthy recovery. Sizemore missed the start of the 2011 season as well, finally getting back on the field in late April only to get hurt again by mid-May. Lingering knee issues and surgery for a sports hernia cost him much of the season, aside from a brief 10 game stint in September as the season would come to an end.
Sizemore re-signed with the Indians for the 2012 season, on a heavily incentivized contract but he’d fail to get on the field at all during the season. Back surgery towards the start of Spring Training ended his year before it began. The team would let him hit free agency following the season, where’s been since. Sizemore underwent a second microfracture surgery on his right knee last September and has been sidelined ever since.
Now 31 years old, Sizemore reportedly isn’t ready to hang up his cleats despite missing two full seasons. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe relays that Sizemore attempted to play this season, but accepted the fact that he needed more time to heal and plans to make another comeback attempt in the Spring. He’ll likely have to demonstrate his health first this offseason and any team with interest will presumably want to bring him in on a minor league deal – so that he can prove himself first, without the team putting themselves at significant financial risk – but there appears to be a general sentiment hoping that he’s able to bounce back.