Grady Sizemore hasn’t played in a major league game since September 22, 2011. His baseball career was seemingly derailed due to cranky knees, a bad back, and a slew of other injuries. He had signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians back in 2012, but back surgery performed during spring training saw him begin that season on the 60-day disabled list. That September, another microfracture surgery. The future wasn’t too bright.
Rumblings surfaced during spring training last year that Sizemore might be a go for the 2013 season. Those rumblings proved to be false. Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, cited that Sizemore wanted to be completely healthy before committing to a team. Apparently, that did not happen last year as Sizemore did not sign a deal with any team.
Those rumblings resurfaced this past January, too. This time, the door to a potential return to the diamond was opened when the Boston Red Sox offered him a deal for one year and $750k. The deal has the potential to reach $6MM through incentives. With Sizemore’s health history, it was a win-win for both player and club. With Jacoby Ellsbury leaving via free agency, it did no harm to give Sizemore at least a look-see.
And Sizemore has done everything this spring to claim that he is back. In fact, it’s not too crazy to believe that Sizemore could seize the Red Sox starting center field slot from the hands of Jackie Bradley, Jr. Entering today’s exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sizemore was batting .294 (5-for-17). After today’s 3-for-4 effort, the BA now sits at .381. Yep, those averages fluctuate substantially in the spring.
Here’s Grady in action…
You can say it’s only spring training, but in Sizemore’s case, he does have much to prove. And he is doing that.
According to Baseball Reference’s scale of rating opposing pitchers during spring training games, Sizemore rates to a 9.1. That scale goes from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. 10 also means that all the pitchers a player has faced pitched at the MLB level last season. In other words, Sizemore has been facing quality arms.
Should Sizemore head north with the club and be named the starter in center, what would that mean for JBJ?